BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Prima Donna has long been one of the more exciting acts strutting through the rock & roll underground, but it takes a while for the L.A. quartet (recently shorn of second guitarist Erik Arcane) to make a record, what with leader Kevin Preston’s involvement with the Green Day project Foxboro Hot Tubs and all. But when it does spit out a new LP it’s always worth the wait.
The product of numerous sessions in different locales over the course of a couple of years, Nine Lives and Forty Fives follows the band’s usual garage-rocking glam punk MO, with tunes and attitude in equal measure. Preston and Aaron Minton’s exuberant guitar and sax riffs roll across the bouncing rhythms of bassist Lights Out Levine and drummer David S. Field, as Preston’s grainy pout lords over all. The band’s attack brings out the best in its energy-spewing songs, from the sneering “Rubbish” and the pogoing “Pretty Little Head” to the roaring “Eat Your Heart Out” and the cheeky “Tattooed Love Girls.” The quartet also blasts through a trio of covers that give insight into their musical minds, putting the Prima Donna stamp on Dwight Twilley (“I’m On Fire”), the Rubinoos (“Rock and Roll is Dead”) and Blondie (“Rip Her to Shreds”).
By the time its 33 minutes are over, Nine Lives and Forty Fives will leave you exhausted from head-bopping, air guitar slashing and general leaping about the room in rock & roll abandon.
DOWNLOAD: “Rubbish,” “Eat Your Heart Out,” “Rip Her to Shreds”