The Breeders

With Cobra Verde and Sheesus. Friday, February 15, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Three words: Guns. N'. Roses. Think of the Breeders as the hip, poppy, feminine counterpart to Axl and his rotating pie rack of guileless yahoos. Both have gone the same route: Instant fame. Myriad lineup changes. Drug problems. General malaise. Cult idolatry. And an album of new material drooling fans have waited damn near a decade to hear.

A decade.

The Breeders' Last Splash came out in 1993. It was a breakthrough record, wily and unhinged enough to haul in hipster alterna-rockers (remember when that was cool? Christ, this band is old), but slick and melodic enough to bombard Mall America and turn the Deal sisters into Lollapalooza-era queens. Toss it on the ol' hi-fi now, and it earns the hype -- "Cannonball" is still undeniable fluff, and every pose thereafter, from surly intensity ("I Just Wanna Get Along") to dreamy romanticism ("Divine Hammer"), works perfectly.

What happened? Well, probably everything that happened to GN'R, but less bombastic. And what now? Who knows? Just the Deal sisters now, teamed up with a couple of dudes from Fear and other assorted riffraff to pound out old favorites (crowd whoops and cheers) and anxiously road-test long-congealed new material (crowd stares blankly). Could be transcendent, could be brilliant, could be awful. Kind of like the Breeders of old, but less bombastic.