Valentine's Riff-O-Rama

The former Go-Go's solo careers haven't exactly set the pop world ablaze, artistically speaking: See albums by Belinda Carlisle (with Charlotte Caffey as right-hand woman), Jane Wiedlin and Gina Schock's House of Schock for exhibits A, B and C.

Judging by her set Friday at Laguna Beach's Club Postnuclear, Kathy Valentine may buck that trend slightly when she gets around to recording her album--though perhaps for the wrong reason. Valentine definitely rocks much harder than her ex-bandmates. The problem is that she, well, rocks much harder than her ex-bandmates--like numbing, headbanger hard.

That's not wholly surprising, since in this as-yet-unnamed band she continues to work with guitarist Kelly Johnson, formerly with English metal merchants Girlschool and more recently Valentine's sidekick in World's Cutest Killers. There were a few tuneful, encouraging moments Friday, but it was mostly empty arena-rock riff-o-rama. Meanwhile, the lyrics probably don't have John Hiatt--or even Jon Bon Jovi--looking over his shoulder. The post-Go-Go's curse continues?

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