Kiss And Tell

by Jonathan Buttrick
Tuesday Jul 27, 2004
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In the music world, comparisons are inevitable. Particularly when a new artist or band appears and has similar traits or features as only one or two similar artists that managed to either make it big or create a buzz within the industry. The four girls of Swedish rock outfit Sahara Hotnights are being compared to The Hives because they are Swedish. They are being compared to The Donnas because they’re four chicks making rock music. They’re being compare The Runaways (the pioneering 70s all girl rock band that featured a teenage Joan Jett and Lita Ford) because, uh, they’re girls making rock music. The girls of Sahara Hotnights (Maria, Josephine, Jennie and Johanna) have been tearing up European charts for a few years and are now attempting to break the U.S. market with their third full-length album (and major label debut) “Kiss & Tell.”

The songs here are appealing and enjoyable. They’re so charming it’s surprising there have not been more comparisons to The Go-Go’s. Lead single “Hot Night Crash” proves the similarity to The Donnas, but they really excel with their catchier numbers like “Stupid Tricks,” a picture of what it might sound like if Gwen Stefani fronted Weezer. On “Stay/Stay Away” they perform with all of the conviction of early Pat Benetar numbers. The background “oh oh oh” in the chorus of “Keep Calling My Baby” is a total throw back to 60s girl groups.

What should be noteworthy here is that these are pop-punk songs and their fondness for melody and hooks may just launch them towards pop recognition much more than their harder edged contemporaries like Sleater Kinney and L7. But in an industry where the only Swedes to get chart momentum and big sales are sugary pop outfits (see Abba, Ace of Base), they may lack a certain flair to ever really get them noticed in a big way.

Other highlights to check out: “Empty Nest,” “Hangin”

by Sahara Hotnights

Release Date: July 27, 2004
Label: RCA


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