If Shannon and the Clams
covered Martha and the Vandellas' "Heatwave" -- and they might -- it would probably sound like the lead singer was extremely angry at the weather. Rad! Shannon Shaw sounds like a cross between Etta James and Wanda Jackson, so even in the pretty, tender moments, she still sounds like a scrapper, which she is. Do not cross her. Inspired by the Mummies and other bubblegum punks in costumes, the band puts out bouncy, gritty rock 'n' roll for the ages, as walls of crashing drums back Shannon's sparkly bass and a righteous, surfy guitar for a sound that's very at home in the Bay Area's current garage-soul revival. But it's Shannon's voice that makes the difference here -- how many singers can scream in vibrato and in tune at the same time?