Weren't you shocked when Hilary Duff, Mandy Moore and the Olsen twins graced the cover of Vanity Fair recently? Whenever such a prestigious publication needs to declare that the tween explosion is officially under way, parents have no choice but to get ready for their daughters to emulate the girls they see on the Disney Channel and the WB.

Not that there's anything too threatening about Mary Kate and Ashley, et al. Of more concern is the spate of their musical contemporaries. And we're not just talking about Xtina and Lil' Kim and their half-nekkid asses! These days, prepubescent ladies have a veritable smorgasbord of performers to rock out in their rooms to. If 1980-style rockers the Donnas don't fill the bill, perhaps white-girl hip-hop trio Northern State will. Then, of course, there's the Russian lesbian pairing T.A.t.u., but then they just might resonate more with teenage boys (and more than a few dirty old men) than they do with the majority of teenage girls.

But there's one more group that's inching its way into this pileup: the dance-pop quintet called Fannypack. The group is made up of "two very handsome guys and three real girls from Brooklyn" who look like they're out to represent for all those mallrats who don't have positive role models. The three girls who front the band -- Cat (21), Jessibel (17) and Belinda (16) -- remind you of those catty girls you see snacking on Cinnabons at the food court, and their promo CD #1 Fun Mix starts with a mash-up of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On" and Joan Jett's "I Love Rock N Roll" before segueing into such retro faves as the Waitresses, Jane's Addiction, EPMD and Nice & Smooth, a worthy soundtrack for the Chick-fil-A set. And now, with the release of their full-length debut, So Stylistic, which features the catchy club hit "Cameltoe" (man, I don't even wanna go into it), Fannypack hopes to reach out beyond the mall's sliding doors.

Parents, watch your daughters.

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Craig D. Lindsey
Contact: Craig D. Lindsey