TROUSER PRESS – December 1982

Can They Deliver!

Baltimore City Paper review, Feb. 1, 1985
by Michael Yockel
The Suburban Wives Club, more than just a novelty act, is profoundly suburban.
Wives Can’t Be Beat


A. Brooklyn may have Cyndi Lauper, and the Valley’s got Julie Brown. But South Jersey’s got Suburban Wives Club.

B. Madonna’s got a sexy pout. Cyndi Lauper pumps iron. The Suburban Wives Club got dishpan hands, and the irons they pump steam the wrinkles out of hubbies’ slacks.

C. You wouldn’t exactly call them a garage band. A laundry room band is more like it.

D. They’re a trio of heavy metal hausfraus — an extra-strength dynamo of meaty, mighty moms…

… Did you choose? It doesn’t matter. Somebody somewhere has probably used them all in writing about Suburban Wives Club.

It would be easy to dismiss the Wives as just another novelty act. Mid-30s homemakers thrashing out heavy metal ditties about life in the burbs doing the dishes, changing diapers, stuffing their faces full of junk food at the 7-Eleven and fantasizing about romance at the laundromat. Ho hum.

What the Wives have going for them is a really appealing honesty and a down-to-earth sense of humor. They really are Suburban (East Philly, Pitman, N.J.), and leader/guitarist Reesa really is a Suburban Wife. She really goes home to a hubby and Huggies after the show. She really did continue to perform into the eighth month of her most recent pregnancy. Rock’s Phyllis Dillers, punk Erma Bombecks they are.

So what? What’s the music like?

I missed their recent blow through town, but I’ve got their new 10-song cassette, Heavy Iron.

No band in the world wants to be called punk anymore, but there’s a lot about the Wives’ loud, dirty, cheapo sound that fits punk’s big gift to rock democratization. The question’s not Why but Why not? And do we need to discuss how the Wives’ down-to-earth humor, with its deep knee bends and dirty socks and supermarket blues, perfectly balances Lauper’s bag lady/Egg lady routine and Julie Brown’s satire? And how, when you add the Go-Gos and Joan Jett and The Pretenders, you get an American rock scene where women are finally getting to express and act out some real options?

Suburban Wives Club live, Atlantic City Press photos

Ann and Cherie rocking on stage in November 1983 with Reesa, three weeks before she had a baby.
Dig the polka-dot maternity dress: Reesa sewed it herself.