These Chicks got Swagger

There is one CD that has been wedged in the center console of my beat-up Saturn for nine years. The cover design is appealingly plain: block letters marching across a red field, Soviet propaganda style; a teeny radio plunked down in the corner. Remarkably, it still plays. Perhaps even more remarkably, the tracks are still so ecstatically infectious that I cannot help but belt out every single word to every single song every damn time I play the disc. It’s as if the band has somehow drilled directly into my brain’s limbic system, triggering uncontrollable, knee-jerk stabs of joyfulness from the first kick drum.

The band? The Soviettes. The album? Their debut LP. Every single person I knew in 2003 had a copy. Everyone. Not a hater in the entire Twin Cities.

Why? Hard to say. The Soviettes—Annie Holoien, Maren “Stugeon” Macosko, Susy Sharp, and drummer Danny Henry—played peppy cheerleader punk, bouncy tunes that swerved from romance ballads to polite, just-sayin’ political anthems. Not exactly a magnet for indie-rock snobs.

But these chicks had swagger. Denim jacket swagger. And a righteous, girl-power positivity that allowed everyone to pretend they were 15 again, drunk on punk-rock and ready to storm the world with shameless, irony-free revolution. That, friends, is a pretty potent product.

Sadly, the band didn’t last. They would release two more albums—LP II and LP III, the latter on legendary skate-punk label Fat Wreck Chords—and then call it quits. They’ve reunited a few times in recent years, and each show has been a sort of rock-and-roll fountain of youth, with grown-ups pogoing along enthusiastically with the all-ages crowd.

Tonight, though, it’s 18+. The band takes the stage at the Triple Rock, playing with Dan Vapid and the Cheats, The Gateway District (which features the Soviettes’ own Maren Macosko), and the Straight A’s.

If you’re young, go. If you just want to feel young, go—and maybe hop in the mosh pit.

The Soviettes, with the Gateway District, Dan Vapid and the Cheats, and the Strait A’s
Friday, September 28
9 p.m.
$10 at the door
Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls.

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