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Henry's Dress

The late, much-loved San Francisco noise-pop trio Henry's Dress actually got started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but migrated to the Bay City soon after when singer/drummer/guitarist Amy Linton was accepted to the San Francisco Art Institute. Once there they quickly signed to the also recently relocated Slumberland Records and developed a rabid following in the Bay Area until they broke up in 1996.

That's hardly surprising: it's difficult to imagine how anyone could encounter Henry's Dress's charmingly innocent, bouncy, ebullient two-minute pop songs without getting hooked. Drawing on '60s mod and garage pop goofiness, Phil Spector's girl group pop splendor, and, more than anything, the punk-pop headiness of early The Ramones, the Dress created a sound that was nostalgic without feeling dated. Linton and Matt Hartman share careless, sunny, understated boy-girl vocals while also trading off on guitar and drums. Bassist Hayyim Sanchez provides a solid bass sound that is the band's skeleton, acting as a counterweight to the music's overall airiness. Every song is a beautiful, messy pop accident: childish, giddy, and incredibly endearing.

Sadly, Henry's Dress's lifespan was relatively short, lasting just long enough to release a handful of seven-inches, a self-titled 8-song EP which included "Definitely Nothing" and "(You're My) Radio One," and one full-length, '96's Bust 'Em Green, which features "Target Practice" and "Hey Allison." Fortunately Linton went on to form the equally delightful indie pop band The Aislers Set.