London King's Cross Water Rats

So while occasionally they're more sweet than spiteful, that's part of their charm. [a]Chicks[/a] are an undoubtedly exciting prospect...

Well, what are they, erm, loike? Young, Irish and female, certainly, but definitely not related to the blandest member of the blandest boy band, partial to patchwork denim, or genetically programmed to perform dance routines that resemble a live chicken being plucked. Chicks are the anti-B*Witched.

Which makes them very cool. Not for them the usual teen pursuits of snogging posters of Michael Owen, or writing 'Mrs Abs From Five' on their pencil cases. From guitarist Annie Tierney's T-shirt of a cute ickle cat with a ribbon in its hair, to drummer Lucy Clarke, permanently struggling to control her giggles, to the way singer Isabel Reyes bashes out teen-fem anthems called 'Feminist' and 'You Wanna Be Me', they are riot grrrl's vision made flesh. But with better tunes.

Tunes which hum with the collected presence of their heroes. And Chicks have got some pretty peerless references - the only stipulations being it has to be loud, brash, and frequently gonzoid. Like Ash in rock beast mode ('Rocca Rocca'), Huggy Bear playing 'Clash City Rockers' ('This Is Gonna Be'), The Ramones at a '50s prom night ('Jewels'), deep-fried swamp-soul ('Black Boy'), or the shrieking punk-disco strop of early Bis.

True, it's so ramshackle it frequently teeters on the brink of collapse and incredible naivety. But these are the earliest of days (grand total of releases thus far - two) and they're still trying to control their instruments, find their voices, and mutter painfully shy between-song introductions.

So while occasionally they're more sweet than spiteful, that's part of their charm. Chicks are an undoubtedly exciting prospect, and one that might blossom into something that'll truly challenge their demonic flipside for a regular appearance on Top Of The Pops. But, for now, that's still a dream. Oh well. C'est la vie.

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