The Heartbreaker

Melissa Burnos

An English major-turned-Miami-Dolphins-cheerleader-turned-minxy rocker, Melissa Burnos is ostensibly a woman of evolving interests. But listening to her music, it’s clear that performing is a blood right. She’s got only one single under her belt so far, but on it she comes out swinging. NME (or, enemy) is a sugary shot of hard rock that places Burnos’s muscular voice center stage. Influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Alice In Chains and Heart are evident, but the song’s unequivocal pop gloss makes Burnos most comparable to Pat Benatar. A snarl of electric guitars and pummeled drums is undercut with a sing-songy chorus, Hey, hey, NME / I’m not coming out to play. Lines like Master manipulator / Misery instigator come off like an updated version of You’re a heart breaker / Dream maker. But whether or not Burnos’s music is derivative is beside the point: she’s a confident performer wielding a potent mix of aggression and seduction. In other words, dontcha mess around with her.