The Bluebonnets

Play Loud

Texas Platters

Austin native and erstwhile ex-Go-Go Kathy Valentine's current combo the Bluebonnets has quietly become one of the best and most distinctive rock & roll bands in town, with a surfeit of seasoned talent and an irresistible swagger that helps to make the foursome's second long-player a consistent blast. Such lyrically barbed numbers as "She's Got Thorns," "Psychometer," and "60 Punishing Minutes," mostly cowritten by Valentine and longtime compatriot Dominique Davalos, who plays bass and sings most of the leads, merge bemused adult insight with inventive, surprise-filled melodies that show off the quartet's combustible chemistry. The tunes' glammy hooks are driven home by the infectious guitar riffage of Valentine and busy local axe heroine Eve Monsees, and locked down with punchy persistence by Davalos and drummer Kristy McInnis. "I Like Lies" and "Have a Nice Day," sung by Valentine and Monsees, respectively, further embody the band's endearing mix of cockiness and craft, as does an authoritative reading of Roy Head's 1965 smash "Treat Her Right."

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