Concocting upbeat music to frame their generally gloomy subject matter, the Grabs are a nifty side project of two fairly obscure Los Angeles musicians: lounge chanteuse Eleni Mandell and experimental guitarist and keyboardist Steve Gregoropolous of Lavender Diamond. They collaborate on the band's spirited songwriting, which is backed by a rhythm section made up of bassist Nigel Harrison (formerly of Blondie) and drummer Elvira Gonzalez (of the Silversun Pickups). The Grabs' low-key but thoroughly catchy debut, Sex, Fashion, and Money, is as indie as can be, released by the band itself without help from a label. Getting blown off by men is one of Mandell's key lyrical inspirations, and "Cold Enough to Snow" is one of her finest odes to being dissed, a perturbed put-down of a former lover who thinks he's too cool. "Hope Is for the Hopeful" even glorifies being shat upon. But despite tunes such as these and the title track, an attack on the celebrity-media vomit factory, Sex, Fashion, and Money packs more cheerworthy moments than an episode of Oprah.