Is Cruiserweight a punk band? Some seem to think so. Regardless of how you classify the band, the correct answer is how I classify them: Kind of an alt-rock/90s sound, a la Elastica or Weezer. Powerful pop, fronted by Stella Maxwell, a chick with a huge, delicious voice.

Naming a female-led band after a boxing weight class runs the risk of comparisons to stupid pop grrls like Avril Lavigne, but Cruiserweight, including Stella’s brothers, Urny and Yogi, have been in the business for a decade, and with that time have the chops and skills to turn, “Big Bold Letters,” which could have been bubblegum, into an album with high cool appeal. I’ve heard, but don’t own, their cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” and it’s hot-as-fire. It’s not on the album (a big mistake), but there’s enough other stuff here to make me recommend the Doghouse Records release.

Phantom Rider

Not from the album:

This Ain’t No Beach Party

Bonus: Covers of Spunk But Not Punk:

Self Esteem (Offspring cover)-Veronica Maggio

The Best Of You (Foo Fighters Cover)-Stereophonics

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