Donita Sparks is no dummy. The former L7 frontwoman knows there's room for more rock & roll Runaways. "Infancy of a Disaster," centerpiece of the L.A. blogger's first solo album, whiffs traces of her former onslaught's brick-heavy "Pretend We're Dead," but its fattened fuzz-tone guitar and a lockstep backbeat toll righteously Joan Jett. Shimmering 1950s soda-fountain riff-pull "Headcheck" spells out its l-o-v-e of crimson and clover, while "Curtains for Cathy," cuts in on Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot." Transmiticate often comes up codeine ("My Skin's Too Thin," "Creampuff"), material clearly a problem. There simply isn't enough "Infancy of a Disaster," and a few too many "Need to Numb," though Sparks' sarcasm on "Take a Few Steps" goes a long way. Live, the tempos pump aerobic, and Sparks' goth cheerleader charisma dazzles, so take comfort in Transmiticate as only the beginning of Donita Sparks' stellar moments.
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