Spotlight \

The Soviettes

By: Jessica Grose

In keeping with their moniker, the Minneapolis-based Soviettes embrace socialist principles: The band has no leader. Guitarists Annie and Sturgeon, bassist Suzy, and drummer Danny write the songs as a team and all four members share singing duties. But don’t worry, listening to the Soviettes’ third full-length album, LP III, is not like languishing in the gulag. LP III is a fast-paced, quick-witted romp through pop punk territory. Every song on LP III is under three minutes long and recalls the upbeat antics of the Ramones and, more recently, the Donnas.

The Soviettes have been pigeon-holed as a girl band, but they’re quick to point out that drummer Danny is an integral part to the Soviette line-up: The first line of Danny’s bio on the band’s official website says, “Danny has a penis. Shhh!” Though not an all-female act, the Soviettes are certainly influenced by the punk end of the riot grrrl spectrum, specifically Bratmobile. The more pissed-off songs on LP III like “�Paranoia Cha Cha Cha!” and “Hanging up the Phone” sound like old-school riot grrrl, replete with driving choruses and accusatory lyrics. On “Hanging Up the Phone,” one of the women in the band asks an absent lover, “How could you ever get so low?”

Elsewhere, the Soviettes are more influenced by recent punk incarnations. They find a sound that’s less punk and more emo, lending a refreshing contrast to the harder songs. On “Together,” the singer tells a friend, “Cause we’ll be there for you / Always call us up,” and the emotion in her voice is earnest and palpable. The Soviettes are in the midst of a U.S. tour with Grabass and Charlestons. How can you miss checking out a band with a guitarist called Sturgeon who plays with another band called Grabass? The answer is, you shouldn’t.

The Soviettes tour dates:

7/6, Las Vegas, NV (The Roadhouse)* 7/7, Tucson, AZ (The Surly Wench Pub)* 7/8, Las Cruces, NM (Danny’s Barn)* 7/9, Austin, TX (Beerland)* 7/10, Denton, TX (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios)* 7/11, Little Rock, AR (Blank Generation)* 7/12, Memphis, TN (Young Avenue Deli)* 7/13, Nashville, TN (Springwater)* 7/14, Birmingham, AL (Cave 9)* 7/15, Huntsville, AL (Flying Monkey)* 7/16, Atlanta, GA (Drunken Unicorn)* 7/19, Augustine, FL (Loose Screws)* 7/20, Orlando, FL (Will’s Pub)* 7/21, Tampa, FL (Skatepark of Tampa)* 7/22, Gainesville, FL (The Atlantic)* 7/23, West Columbia, SC (New Brookland Tavern) 7/24, Cincinnati, OH (The Comet) 7/27, Madison, WI (The Annex)

(*with Grabass and Charlestons)

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