What? Over nearly 30 tumultuous years, pop-punk luminary and raucous frontwoman Chrissie Hynde's tried and true dedication to music's creation has kept her perennially underappreciated Pretenders alive and able to turn out multi-faceted new wave sonic stylings. On October 7, the Pretenders return with Break Up the Concrete, the band's first studio album since 2002's reggae-influenced Loose Screw, chock full of rockabilly-tinged songs showcasing Hynde's ability to write both shuffling rockers ("Boots of Chinese Plastic") and instantly pleasing pop songs ("The Nothing Maker").
Who? Throughout the Pretenders' nine-album discography, from 1980's classic self-titled debut and its underrated 1981 follow-up, Pretenders II, to Loose Screw (featuring songwriting from Jarvis Cocker), the band's lineup has seen many changes, tragically due to the drug-related deaths of founding members James Honeyman-Scott (guitar) and Pete Farndon (bass). A steady string of musicians have played with the band, including former Smiths members Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke, as well as session musician and part-time Talking Heads keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Presently, the Pretenders are comprised of Chrissie Hynde (lead singer/guitar), Martin Chambers (drums), Eric Heywood (guitar), James Walbourne (guitar), and Nick Wilkinson (bass).
Fun Fact: Before forming the Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde was a devoted member of the London punk scene, writing for music rag New Musical Express and working as a clerk in Sex Pistols svengali Malcolm McLaren's infamous boutique, SEX.
The Pretenders, "Boots of Chinese Plastic"(DOWNLOAD MP3)