Kids, they grow up so fast these days, with their belly shirts and their "friends with benefits" and their pocket bikes. Take Wisconsin's Mystery Girls
. Barely out of their teens, these fresh-faced laddies should be pursuing the hijinks of youth. They should be tipping cows and spinning the bottle and foolishly joining the military. Instead, they've been mastering a garage-rock style twice as old as themselves. Earlier this year, all kindsa scumbags were buzzing about Something in the Water
, the Mystery Girls' sophomore record, and with good reason. Most '60s-style bands stay on one side or the other of what might be called the Revolver
line: They either bop and twist like a black-and-white beat combo or freak out like full-color psychedelic warriors. But these Girls (all male, of course) keep up that R&B swing even at their heaviest and most somber. Harmonica, tambourine, wah-wah pedals and cranked-up phasers collide like a speeding Alfa Romeo hitting a brick wall, and the twisted, tortured wreckage is just as intriguingly ugly. At its poppiest, their hooky, moody, minor-key songwriting recalls the Yardbirds or a crazier Zombies; on the heavier end, they wander through Led Zeppelin territory. Mod or hippie, amphetamines or acid, moptop or flowing locks: The Mystery Girls pick and choose the best of the past to make the future seem a hell of a lot cooler.