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Tres Femmes 

Friday, August 20; the Pub Above at Dressel's

Although the three women of Tres Femmes -- Kellie Lin Knott, Victoria Vox and Stolie -- have their own histories as solo singer/songwriters, they figured something out as a trio: the unpredictable pleasure of harmony. If their self-titled debut sounds modest and folksy, that's just the acoustic guitars talking. The Femmes find ample rhythmic bop in an easy-swinging rhythm section, while their songwriting and harmonies spill straight out of the big pop playbook, sometimes as tart as the Roches, sometimes as creamy as ABBA. Good thing ProTools wasn't in the budget; auto-tune would have just wrecked all the bob-and-weave fun of their intricate vocal parts. They swoop through Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" without changing the gender, pine nostalgic for their first beer (rhymes with "tasted kinda weird"), get pissed at lovers who smoke more than they do and get a kick out of that ultimate rock conceit, hot sex as a hot car -- objectification be damned. Save the blonde jokes for another band; Tres Femmes make pop music as smart as it is fetching.

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