The Rondelles are having a blast, and they ain’t afraid to show it. Their excellent debut album, Fiction Romance Fast Machines, was released by Smells Like Records on Nov. 9, and since moving to D.C. from Albuquerque a few months ago, they have gained a devout following, mostly through their joyous live shows. Their recent appearance with Flin Flon at the Galaxy Hut was packed and worshipful; it’s hard to think of a D.C. band that looks happier to be onstage. And oh, yeah, the trio’s collective age is under 60. “We formed in 11th grade,” says singer-guitarist Juliet Swango. “We’ve been playing together about two years.” Swango, singer-bassist Yukiko Moynihan, and drummer and Casio keyboard wizard Oakley Bennett are originally from the D.C. area, but they met up in high school in New Mexico. “We didn’t know each other [from D.C.],” says Swango. The Rondelles have cranked out one hell of a debut, a zippy collection whose Mersey-choogle can hang with that of any indie combo in sight. Catch ’em live if you can. They’ve just recorded a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” for the 1999 Teenbeat sampler and are looking to release a follow-up to Fiction Romance on Teenbeat sometime next year. (Joe Gross)

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