The second release from Louisville's Label X (following Digby), Waterproof Blonde's Glitter Lust is one more reason to wonder why more bands aren't breaking nationally from this here River City.
Waterproof Blonde's crunchy pop initially struck me as a throwback to early 1990s alt-rock (Cranberries, etc.), but upon careful listening to this six-track disc I hear much more potential. First and foremost, the beautiful Rachel Hagan's vocals are the perfect blend of grit and luster. She can sound tough as nails during a refrain and turn suddenly angelic for the chorus, seemingly without effort. In addition, her four bandmates display tasteful restraint in getting Waterproof Blonde's music across.
The highest compliment I personally can give this album is that it at times reminds me of the late, great Eve's Plum. And Hagan may have more vocal potential than Eve's Plum vocalist Colleen Fitzpatrick (who, tragically, turned to brainless pop with her alter-ego Vitamin C, breaking my heart in the process).
"Glitter Lust" is the best track here, succeeding on careful pop precision that is an unmitigated home run. And for those who have caught this band live, you'll be surprised at the subtle differences in some of the tracks. For instance, the haunting "How Long" takes on a slower tempo and a quieter delivery than in the live show. The song improves as a result; hats off to the production of Todd Smith (Days of the New, Smash Mouth).
And there are two versions of the band's signature "Come On," the tune that was chosen by WWE wrestler Sean O'Haire as his theme song (strange pairing, but whatever). Version two is more gritty and raucous.
It will be interesting to see how Waterproof Blonde develops. A full-length recording will be telltale. We can hope that will be forthcoming as the band jells.