Magneta Lane’s Witchrock

Writer Perk #37: Pre-release tunes in my inbox.

I’d never heard of Magneta Lane, and opted to set aside the bio for later, uploaded the goodies to my MP3 and headed out for a stroll. I was boppin’ and smilin’ in no time.

Despite the ridiculous cold and layers of clothes, I was suddenly transported to petticoat dresses, army boots and burgundy lipstick. It was melodic pop princesses, embittered and unafraid, but just pissed enough that they never fall out of key (sorry Hole, you know I love you, but different category….Magneta Lane is more Veruca Salt’s American Thighs album, which remains awesome in my heart).

Their upcoming album is called Witchrock, which I think it a neat-o name, and I’m glad they didn’t besmirch it by sucking. It’s cleaner and tighter than the grungy gals of my youth (we invented Lolita Goth, btw, if you’re keeping track). The smooth sounds of uber-production are a sign of the times, though, and they haven’t abused their post-production powers, it’s only that for it’s style, I miss the grit of garage tapes, I suppose. Still, the tunes are boppy without being oversweet, the lyrics are fun and witty and def for the ladies. If I was throwing a retro party, circa 1995, with enough bitter ladies to make a drunken circle and scream the lyrics of a song, we could probably replace the standby You Oughta Know with Magneta Lane’s Lucky.

There’s something beyond that though…something more retro, more refined, something that made me think of beehives, glammed out shift dresses and boots made for walking, that may one day in fact walk all over you. So, after a couple of days of dancing down the street to the tunes and even finding X stuck in my head at one point, I was pretty pleased with myself when I found Nancy Sinatra listed as one of their influences. Oh look! Veruca Salt’s there too! I’m diggin’ these chicks…

The suburban Toronto trio, comprised of sisters Lexi Valentine and Nadia King along with their good friend French, formed back in 2003 when they realized that they were on the wrong side of the stage and taught themselves how to play.  At the time they were fifteen and seventeen years old, lying about their age so they could play in Torontos’ clubs, where they had to be nineteen (yet another reason Montreal’s cooler).

witchrockA few albums and a hiatus later, here they are, ready to call the shots, and unapologetically embrace their style…whatever that is. Through the realization that they were not really grungy enough to be alternative, far too polite to be punk, way too empowered to be emo, they came up with Witchrock as a genre and knowing that gets my mind ‘thinking about all the other fab chicks, broads and sultry status quo subverters that could fit in under that umbrella, from Janis Joplin to Luscious Jackson, Lana Del Ray, Adele, L7, P!nk, The Breeders…the list goes on and it’s a pretty good one (if I do say so myself as I compile it).

The album’s out February 12th through eOne Music Canada and their release party is on the 14th, if you’re out Queen Street way, and you know, if I was in the T Dot, I think I’d hit that. I betcha it’ll be good fun and one day you can say you saw them way back when. Also, my money’s on this album being the perfect Valentine’s gift for that chick in your life who says love is an illusion and V-Day’s a trite corporate festival, because in case you were unclear, you still totally have to get her something.

The release party’s tonight, Thursday February 14, at The Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., Toronto. Follow them @magneta_lane

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