Back in 1990, the four-woman band, The Aquanettas, released a debut album filled with fun and catchy garage rock tunes spun from a woman’s perspective. It should have launched them into a successful career, but sadly, they broke up five years later. I can’t even find an official video by them on YouTube, even though I remember seeing one (possibly on JBTV) a number of years back. Lead vocalist -guitarist, Deborah Schwartz, released a solo CD titled The Wrongs Of Passage in 1998. Here’s an edited version of a review I wrote for the Illinois Entertainer back when Love With The Proper Stranger first came out.
Like The Go-Go’s and The Bangles before them, the four-woman New York based band, The Aquanettas, turn to the 1960s for inspiration on their 12-song debut, Love With The Proper Stranger. The hard-edged “Faults” would be a perfect segue from Eleventh Dream Day’s “Driving Song,” as both tracks examine the frustrations of trying to score on the night club scene. “Pictures Of Italy” is a silly but irresistible look at life on a budget that opens with the line, “Every day I eat pasta rigitoni for breakfast.” The bouncing rhythm of “Up” provides another highlight.
“Beach Party” opens with a poetic description of the ocean shore at dusk before the first verse ends with the line, “With beer cans and papers all over the place.” It’s a rollicking song about partying on the beach, and two of the regulars who hang out there. “Larry and Pete are just typical guys/Blasting their music and watching the thighs.” The songs on Love With The Proper Stranger are pretty basic, but they prove there’s plenty of room for women in the garage.