As an almost pure expression of girl-rock ego, the Pandoras were a true phenomenon. Wrapped tightly around the image and impulses of the often capricious Paula Pierce (R.I.P.), the 'Doras endured acrimonious rifts, a condescending male-centric scene and manipulations of all kinds. Somehow, they managed to record and release two astounding slabs of muscular garage rock, the blistering "It's About Time" in 1984 and, two years later, its more confident follow-up, "Stop Pretending." Solid without being sold-out, "Stop Pretending" piles simple riffs, wobbly harmonies and droney keyboards behind the whirlwind personality of Pierce and, two decades later, it's still possessed of a surprising freshness. Eight demos, a B-side and an unreleased track flesh out the original album. (Available in an individually numbered, limited edition of 2,500 copies, only at www.rhinohandmade.com)
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