Local Wire

Ouija Radio

This Minneapolis indie favorite is tuning in loud and clear to the ghosts of a lost era in rock -- those few precious years of the late '70s and early '80s, before punk, New Wave and goth all went their completely separate ways. Ouija Radio cranks out darkly catchy melodies with powerful, echoing guitar, a seductively danceable rhythm section, and spooky-but-subtle synths. Really, the foursome draws plenty of inspiration from Bauhaus at its most rockin', except for the vocals; frontwoman Christy Hunt's expressive pipes convey defiance and seduction, not doom. Sometimes Ouija Radio also channels the sinister side of '60s pop -- stopping short of psychedelic indulgence -- but that's not as strange as it sounds. Remember Siouxsie and the Banshees' take on the Beatles' "Dear Prudence"? Ouija Radio does a powerful cover of the Kinks' "Wicked Annabella" -- plus a sassy, fuzz-guitar-and-organ-fueled original ("Identity") -- in the same mischievous spirit.