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The Trucks

2000–2003 was the era of "electroclash"—a ridiculous marketing term for the resurgence of '80s electro, old-school analog production, and high-fashion posturing that continues in the splintered dance and rock music scenes of today. It's also the time period when the four women who make up the Trucks were chilling in Bellingham, forming a band. And while they're admittedly influenced by some of the artists that came up then—Peaches, Anna Oxygen, Fanny Pack—on their debut, self-titled album for Clickpop Records, they deftly combine that brashness with a skilled musicianship common to Northwest rocker chicks.

A large part of the '00s electro wave is based on kitsch, distance, and glamorizing bad behavior, but the Trucks are smarter than that (though they do have a healthy appetite for mischief). Everyone in the group is multitalented: Kristin Allen-Zito (also a solo singer-songwriter) on lead vocals, keys, and guitar; Faith Reichel on bass, vocals, and drums; Lindy McIntyre on drums, percussion, and keys; and Marissa Moore on vocals and xylophone. Their lyrical delivery is equal parts deadpan and demanding, and they retain a spirit of performance and costume that's smartly calculated. They're also big fans of chanting, opening the album with a litany of faults ("I've been in therapy for five years/I turn into a bitch when I'm hungry/I dropped out of high school") and then refusing to apologize for them ("But I like it/I love it").

Allen-Zito's smooth voice infuses a similar confidence throughout the album, whether she's taunting those who "can't keep your pretty hands off me" in "Shattered" or asking "If this was the end, would you die not dancing?" in "Zombie."

"Titties" is a fantastic face-off with unsatisfying lovers, opening with some suggestive panting and driven by a mean bass line and macho guitar riffs. "What makes you think we can fuck just because you put your tongue in my mouth and you twisted my titties, baby?" they chant at the beginning, and "You need some lessons on how to get me off" at the hand-clap-filled end. No wonder they thank "all the boys who've let us break their hearts" in the liner notes. Like W.I.T., whose fleetingly popular 2003 album (perhaps the last straw for electroclash fans tired of disposable jams) showcased a steamy sensuality, the Trucks pepper their debut album with raucous come-ons. But more like their NW neighbors the Gossip, the Trucks don't do "Whatever It Takes"—they do whatever they want.

Rachel Shimp

 
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