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The Veronicas 

The Secret Life of the Veronicas (Sire)

The Veronicas are 20-year-old Australian twins who had the awesome idea of forming a band around the sound of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone." (In further awesomeness, neither twin is named Veronica; they're Jess and Lisa Origliasso.) The Secret Life of the Veronicas, the girls' high-octane debut, arrives wrapped in sleekly scruffy packaging meant to signify their scrappy punk roots; the same goes for their affiliation with Sire Records, the influential label that first brought us the Talking Heads and Ramones (not to mention Madonna) about 4,000 years ago.

Don't bother getting worked up about this: If you're so committed to the punk ideal that an excellent pop-rock duo with outrageously expensive haircuts can enrage you with their use of dark eyeliner, please funnel that energy toward doing something productive in the world. And besides, the Veronicas rock about 14 times harder than 99 percent of bands these days. "4ever," the first tune on Secret Life, has a chiseled Franz Ferdinand riff that explodes into a chorus about making the night last forever. Complain if you must; we'll be here living your life for you.

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More by Mikael Wood

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