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The Ettes: Pop And Punk, Packing A Wallop

The Ettes' "Take It With You" packs two great tunes into a single song. The first opens with raw guitar, rousing handclaps and a simple melody that sounds sweet enough to sing in a schoolyard. Lead singer Coco (a.k.a. Lindsay Hames) channels some of the best bouffanted singers of the '60s while adding a sleek punk edge. But something's lurking beneath the caramel sweetness of Coco's voice: Just when it seems to have settled into a nice groove, "Take It With You" becomes a brand-new song the second the chorus hits.

At that point, like that moment in Grease when Sandy transforms herself from a powder-puff ingenue to a leather-clad badass, the tune bursts into new territory. It's suddenly an infectious garage-rock song that practically commands listeners to do the twist. In a plaintive and powerful pitch, Coco lashes out accusations: "You know what you want, but it's gone now / I know I can see in your eyes now / You know and you know and you know"

The Ettes started out in L.A. a few years ago, when Coco and her friend Poni (Maria Silver) were working together in retail and decided to form a band. Inspired by the girl gang at the center of the 1975 film The Switchblade Sisters, they created a sound that mirrored the films' stars: sexy and tough as nails. "Take It With You" is their finest moment yet: It raises the pulse and packs a wallop without losing its all-important good-natured side.

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