Sleepless in Seattle

Though they're named after a Smiths song (which in turn was named after a quote from Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums), Pretty Girls Make Graves has precious little to do with English fop-pop. The loud-rawkin', female-fronted, energetic Seattle quintet is well-versed with life on the road, though, having toured incessantly since forming in late 2001.

In the beginning, they certainly got mileage out of their indie pedigree -- bassist Derek Fudesco did time in Sub Pop stalwarts Murder City Devils while singer Andrea Zollo kicked out the jams for Death Wish Kids. But with last year's Good Health under their belts and another, The New Romance, due in late summer, those old comparisons are falling by the wayside. Between Zollo's powerful, melodic bark and her compadres' tightly wound, angular bite, PGMG is emerging as a fresh and much welcome update of vintage DC-style hardcore.

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Michael Alan Goldberg