Deliciously tuneful sleaze-punk reeking of C.B.G.B. circa ’76 without sounding the least bit dated, the Lusties are a Chicago quintet led by bold and brassy former Austinite Edie Lustie–in the great Ramones tradition, the musicians have all take “Lustie” as their last name–dedicated to both tickling and titillating listeners while relentlessly pummeling them old-school-style a la the Ramones, X and the earliest Blondie.
The group is as likely to pay homage to a marital aid, an illicit young love or a B-grade horror flick–as on “RubberMade,” “Hi Skool Luv” and “Zombies,” respectively–as it is to deliver a startlingly powerful, moving and once again relevant cover of the’50s hit “Soldier Boy,” which betrays the sort of mile-wide emotional streak that every true punk hides beneath his or her leather jacket. To date, the group has two self-released EPs available, but I for one am eager to hear more.
You can sample the Lusties’ sound at www.myspace.com/thelusties, or better yet, catch them in all their grungy glory as they provide the soundtrack for the Varietease Cabaret at the Lakeshore Theatre, 3175 N. Broadway, on Aug. 9 and take the stage at Reggie’s, 2109 S. State, on Aug. 29.