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Von Iva
Girls on Film
Jim Abbott

Sentinel Pop Music Critic

January 9, 2009

On the band's MySpace page, the members of all-girl trio Von Iva list "early Tina Turner" as an influence.

At first blush that doesn't seem to fit with the band's electro-pop mindset, but a quick spin through the 6-song EP Girls on Film exposes enough traces of soul and funk to make it legit.

The San Francisco band's third release coincides with some wider exposure, including a song and cameo in the Jim Carrey comedy Yes Man. Girls on Film recycles some songs off the band's 2007 release, Our Own Island, and features three new songs.

Von Iva, on the bill with Semi Precious Weapons for the Hell on Heels tour-stop Jan. 25 at BackBooth, is anchored in the dance-friendly time warp of the 1980s. The throbbing bass and keyboard foundation of Girls on Film songs such as "Guise" doesn't break new ground, but there's a good beat.

The insistent beat is pretty much the appeal of the opening "Living 4 It," with its equally repetitive lyrical mantra: "How can we not change our ways; should be living for another day." In the studio, the energy takes it only so far, even if singer Jillian Iva's chirpy alto injects quirkiness into things.

Her playfulness is at the heart of tracks such as the chugging "LaLa," the band's acidic ode to Los Angeles, and the kinetic "Electricity." The latter takes Iva's vocals into the neighborhood of Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits," a good place for the band to be.