Beauty and the Beat is the Go-Go's at their brashest, a record that broke out of the late-'70's L.A. hardcore scene to define the California mystique of the Square Pegs era. Gina Schock's drums flesh out the music's Buzzcocks/Ramones fixation with her own libidinally propulsive beat, making up for Carlisle's quavery voice. Jane Wiedlin establishes herself as the hyphen in the Go-Go's: their punk conscience as well as their most charmingly tuneful melodist. "Fading Fast" and "Skidmarks on My Heart" bookended many a breakup tape in 1982. while the heartbreaking "How Much More" celebrates the thrill of thwarted obsession. In "Our Lips Are Sealed" (at least the version not sung by Fun Boy 3) two catty girls roam the streets of Guyville getting hassled by jerks, but they strut proudly, they don't answer back, and when they look at them, they look right through them. Bells ring, cymbals crash, Jane chimes in with a seraphic lullaby, and you never doubt for a second that they're sticking together.