GRAND OLE PARTY: Humanimals [DH]

Look out, Karen O. On this San Diego trio’s debut, drummer Kristin Gundred proves she’s mastered more than just the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman’s sneering swagger and come-hither growl. She can also sing. Sounding like a pissed-off bastard child of Grace Slick, Gundred’s voice dominates Humanimals. Whether she’s snarling in sing-speak or breaking out in a bone-rattling wail, every word that crosses her lips quakes with raw emotion. Back it up with some bouncing bass lines and a half-dozen spidery guitar melodies, and it’s as if Jefferson Airplane had been reborn in the swamps of the Mississippi Delta, weaned solely on rotgut moonshine, one-night-stands and Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs. Humanimals works best when it sticks to the minimalist formula, as on the slinky “Nasty Habit” and the cymbal-crashing “Gypsy March,” giving Gundred’s expressive screech a strong melodic counterpoint. But the real highlight is opener “Look Out Young Son,” a dark, chugging anthem of seduction on which Gundred proclaims, “I must be the devil’s daughter/Such a dark father to dwell in me.” So that explains the voice. Sorry, Karen O: Looks like you’re screwed. []

—Miles Britton