The Ringling Sisters
Remember how boring high school English would get every time you had to study poetry? Well, teachers may find an instant class wake-up by popping 60 Wall Reality into the CD player. The album’s combination of well-crafted, intimately descriptive lyrics and bluesy rock and roll demonstrates both that poetry can move and that rock can be about more than girls, cars and more girls.
This Los Angeles band began as a poetry group, its four female leaders fronting their own bands and getting together to write, read and publish their written work. A member of one of those other bands put two of the women’s poems, “56 Reasons” and “Kimberly Rose,” to music. The first is a haunting, first-person justification of drug addiction, the second a folkish ballad about a runaway girl. “56 Reasons” ended up on an underground compilation that landed the Ringling Sisters—Debbie “Dexter” Shaffer, Pleasant Gehman, Debbie Patino and Annette Zilinskas (no relation, actually)—their shot at this terrific debut album. (A&M)