Katrina & the Waves
Just when they seemed headed for the one-hit-wonder junk heap, Katrina Leskanich and her three rockin’ merrymen save themselves with their third LP.
Four years might as well be a millennium in pop music terms, so some people may have forgotten about their 1985 hit “Walking on Sunshine,” from their first album. But the group herewith delivers a muscle-bound set of 10 rock tunes that are more mature in tone than that breakthrough record. Leskanich is a sort of Cuisinart amalgam of other distaff rockers such as Pat Benatar and Miss Nasty herself, Joan Jett, and sings with a teenage kind of restlessness. That nomadic quality may come from her years of moving around with her Air Force family, but she has also cultivated some solid rock roots along the way. “Love Calculator” makes good use of Mark Knopfler-like guitar work, and Leskanich belts like a soul sister. The single “That’s the Way” is tantalizing and full of bravado. Katrina’s lyrics are par for a mundane course (“Always treat you tender/ With such sweet surrender”), and she yips and yelps too much, undermining her seriousness as a performer. But she usually sounds confident, and perhaps it’s a sign of maturity that there is nothing remotely as overcute as “Walking on Sunshine” on this album. For the time being, Katrina can sidestep that overflowing where-are-they-now? pile and head toward greener pastures. (SBK)