Joe Leste has fought on long after lesser men would have waved the white flag. He first turned heads as the pretty-boy frontdude in Bang Tango, a grad of the late-'80s L.A. rawk scene. The Bangers put out intermittently entertaining major-label discs in 1989 and 1991, and while neither caused cash registers to orgasm, Leste and company kept paddling even as the grunge wave swept away most of their peers. Their persistence couldn't prevent a mid-'90s breakup, but they reunited a few years later in the hopes that nostalgia was stronger than Nirvana. When that didn't prove to be the case, Leste launched Beautiful Creatures, a band whose one shot at the majors, 2001's Beautiful Creatures, was a commercial misfire. This flop didn't kill off the Creatures, though, and their latest disc, 2005's Deuce, released by an indie dubbed Spitfire Records, ain't too shabby; it's loud and tuneful, with a hint of metallic glam around the edges. Granted, the group won't revolutionize music in this or any other decade. But when it comes to rock-and-roll survivor stories, Leste is more.
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