That may change with the recent release of Dying to Say This to You (Scratchie/New Line). Helmed by Jeff Saltzman, who produced the Killers' Hot Fuss (Island), and mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, Hole), the Sounds' second album is an even better blitzkrieg of retro wrist-pumping anthems — glitter-punk riffs! Euro-disco keyboard lines! Ivarsson's tough-gal taunts! — that's so relentlessly catchy it practically dares America not to listen. And while many people who've tired of the ’80s revival will do just that, it's their loss: Stadium-ready stompers such as "Queen of Apology" and dance floor confections like "Tony the Beat" prove that sharp hooks — even when rooted in Reagan-era nostalgia — never go out of style.
Why should it matter, then, that we've heard all this before? The Sounds may not be today's most innovative rock band, but they're one of the most efficient when it comes to creating exuberant, unabashedly poppy rock. So it's best to follow Ivarsson's lead and shrug off the fact that her band will probably always be seen as Blondie wannabes. They're not, of course, but nor are they overly concerned with anyone else's notions of originality, authenticity, and indie credibility. Rather, quite refreshingly, the Sounds simply want to show as many people a good time as possible.
"We don't think it's anything to be ashamed of if you're a great pop band — pop means popular, and it's a pretty good sign if you're popular," Ivarsson says, laughing. "In the beginning, only hip bands and elite people knew about us, and they were like, 'This is my band.' Of course, they don't like us anymore, but that's OK. As long as the people like us, then we're happy. We just want to get you down."<\!s><z5><h110>SFBG<h$><z$>
With Morningwood and Action Action
Mon/1, 7:30 p.m.
333 11th St., SF