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C'Mon Let's Pretend

Sahara Hotnights
C'Mon Let's Pretend
(Jetset Records)

As sometimes happens when the second album of a group goes large, their earlier discs (if not readily available) get the re-release treatment to tide fans over while said band works on another follow up. Such is the case of Sweden's Sahara Hotnights, who really just entered the scene with last years Jennie Bomb, although some listeners already had them pegged earlier on. Riding the wave of hot bands from the scandanavian country, Sahara Hotnights are a quartet of attractive females who don't mind playing on that angle, they also fortunately have some chops to steady themselves on.

The Donna's have been milking the same sound (and lyrical ideas) for about 4 albums now, and after hearing this album by Sahara Hotnights, I'm inclined to think that they're probably going to do the same thing. However, unlike the former group, Sahara Hotnights actually seems to be getting better with each release (and they're not dumbing things down quite as much, either). C'Mon Let's Pretend overall is a passable album, but the riffs just aren't nearly as catchy, and the group doesn't quite seem to have a command on their sound yet.

That's somewhat apparent throughout, although on "Oh Darling!" it makes itself a little more obvious with bubbly synth sounds in the background that gurgle up behind the stuttering guitars and yelled vocals. I've got to give the group some props for this earlier release, though, in that they try quite a few different things, including a near-ballad on "Wake Up" and a kind of watered-down Stevie-Nicks tribute-esque on "That's What They Do." The album isn't nearly as pedal-to-the-floor as Jennie Bomb, but that's also one of its weaknesses. Whereas that album just blasts right through things, this release feels like that exploratory album where the group doesn't quite know which direction to go and the songs overall suffer a bit from it.

There are still some arm-pumping singalongs, though, and fans of their newer release will take much comfort in the top down rockin' of "Push On Some More" and "Too Cold For You." There's nothing quite like the hugely catchy "Alright, Alright (Here's My Fist Where's The Fight?)," but those who liked their newest release will find some nuggets worth mining on the disc.

Rating: 6