Lady Luck - The Villenettes (Off The Hip)
They’re four girls with guitars and this is their debut album. It twangs a lot and is laced with reverb in all the right places. It rocks like my vintage mono jukebox and the songs are ace. That’s it in a nutshell, but of course you want more…
Being an all-female band is fraught with dangers, not the least of which is that a certain percentage of sneering (probably male) arseholes won’t take you seriously. Don’t make that mistake. The Villenettes play this ‘60s garage psychobilly hellcats thing with skill and feeling.
That it’s on Off The Hip and was produced by label head Mickster Baty (The Crusaders, Pyramidiacs et al) should tell you a lot. The Vilennetes are excellent players but their strength is as much in the quality of their songs. “Lady Luck” reverberates with schlock rock themes, trash asthetic and an unadulterated sense of fun.
It’s hard to believe the band has only been kicking around their home city of Adelaide for tust two-and-a-half years. There are no false starts among these 11 songs (except maybe the subdued closer, “Lady Luck’s Swinging Southern Jukebox Joint” which seems to segue into a hidden track that never comes.) The confidence levels here are sky-high.
And why not? The engine room is tight without being suffocating, moving from a frantic shuffle like “Jerk Song II” to the surf rumble of “Psycho Nana” with nimble ease. Guitarist Jess Zubkevych knows her way around a fretboard and would give Poison Ivy a run for her money. Anna Bouras has a commanding vocal, and even manages to flick the switch to convincing menace in “Set You On Fire”.
“Lady Luck” has the last word in brevity, clocking in at a smudge over half an hour, but there’s more than enough greatness in its digital groove (it’s on CD only) to satisfy the snobbiest of psychobilly hillbillies.