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.