The White Stripes and Jucifer are both coed duos. Backstreet Boys and the Rolling Stones are both all-male quintets. Obviously, compositional comparisons aren’t foolproof. Jucifer trudges through dense sludge like an elephant escaping a tar pit, out-louding nearly all of its peers despite the apparent handicap of limited instrumentation. Unlike the mojo-mongering Stripes, Jucifer never provokes purists to play “where’s the bassist,” mostly because gearhead guitarist Amber Valentine rigs her amp to produce serious low-end rumblings. With an ax range that stretches from fragile effects to battering-ram blasts, not to mention a velvety voice that soothes listeners before she jabs screams into their ear canals, Valentine has become one of the only musicians coveted by both Guitar Player and Playboy. (She recently ranked second in that mag’s “sexiest babes of indie rock” poll.) Drummer Ed Livengood continually reminds Valentine-charmed concertgoers of his presence by assaulting his oversized custom kit.

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