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Sahara Hotnights 

With Phantom Planet and the Like. Saturday, September 18, at the Agora Theatre.

Sahara Hotnights
  • Sahara Hotnights
The Swedish Jennie bombs in Sahara Hotnights came to American attention in 2002 as the female counterpart to the Hives, whose frontman, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, dates lead singer Maria Andersson. On their kick-ass third album, Kiss & Tell, the Saharas get away from that easy comparison, sharpening the hooks in their wily garage-pop tunes and smoothing out their frayed edges with shiny production that would've suited Pat Benatar or Blondie, back when Andersson and her bandmates were busy being born. You'll wonder why the band resisted this kind of makeover till now: "Stay/Stay Away" has a cool keyboard line that feels like cruising Friday night for hot guys, and "Who Do You Dance For?" is heavy with the kind of backseat drama that seems life-threatening and meaningless at the same time. All of Kiss & Tell is like that: trash-culture transmissions spiffed up for a scrape toward pop permanence.

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