May 22, 2008

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Patti Rothberg, Double Standards
Double On Tundra Records, May 13
Heavily poppy neo-post-punk redolent of an abandoned collaboration album between Garbage and Katrina and the Waves. A New Yawker who looks like an extra from Hysterical Blindness, Rothberg busked her way through Europe and the US before prying a contract from EMI Records, all this eventually leading to a Billboard #32 in 1996 (“Inside”) that went for naught when the US arm of EMI went belly up.

Given those unfortunate circumstances, the hot-potato handling this album’s gotten from record labels (Amazon still lists this as a Megaforce release), and the good-not-great level of her songwriting, Allah obviously didn’t intend for this girl to be a standalone superstar. Her best move would be to hook up with a couple of No-Nos or other equally half-legendary riot grrlz who, like her, are looking down the barrel of their 40s and want to own houses, but that’s just the smart thing to do, not necessarily what her level of burnout will allow.

To the songs, though, tally-ho. The title track is reg-US-pat-off Garbage shooting for Bon Jovi; “Alternate Universe” is Cheryl Crow on a Harley; “Eye to Eye” attempts to milk some Runaways cred, which, along with a dollar, will get you a Whopper Junior. C+Eric W. Saeger