Concluding my preview of Ladyfest Boston:
Playing Saturday night (in alphabetical order)
Daylight Robbery’s more recent tunes find the band growing in subtlety and the use of space. The tunes on their recent 3-way split with Foreign Objects and Defect Defect sound as influenced by New Model Army as by X (for better or worse, Christine Wolf has a not-un-Exene-like timbre making the comparison difficult to avoid). Their whole discography is available at Daylight Robbery’s bandcamp. Note: The Daylight Robbery that released Cross Your Heart is different — some glam metal/hard rock act which I thought it was pretty dreadful. Beware.
Libyans employ hardcore tempos, guitar parts that aren’t the least bit cookie cutter (and afford more breathing room than most hardcore) and gloriously trashy drum sounds. Aces. (check ‘em out on Spotify)
Pet Milk sound like they wore out records by The Primitives and maybe Velocity Girl or Heavenly. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. The super-peppy “I Don’t Love Anyone” is especially nice, and how could I fail to love a band with a song called “Husker Dudes”? Hear it all at Pet Milk bandcamp.
Population evoke several of the post-punk pioneers — Chameleons and Echo, particularly. But they’re weirder. “Heaven Can Help” has a keyboard part that almost seems to belong to a completely different song — and I kinda love that about it. Available at Population bandcamp.
Siamese Twins have me seriously intrigued. This Siamese Twins tumblr links to tunes that fair dare me not to mention The Cure in describing their pop hooks and gothy mood (not to mention the basslines). This Siamese Twins bandcamp features spastic, herky-jerky noise-rock that reminds me of Parts & Labor’s “Escapers”, Ho-Ag, or Hands on Heads (and doesn’t appear to have female members). Normally I’d conclude they are two different bands — but both sites mention the Ladyfest gig! And I like the band in both modes. (Maybe it really is two different bands, and one of the sites associates show dates automatically?)
Sick Fix answers a question I’ve been wondering about: would anyone ever tag a band fronted by (or even fetauring) a woman with my all-time least favorite genre label? (That’d be “powerviolence,” beating out “shitgaze” by a wide oogie margin.) Sick Fix proves the answer is yes, which makes me hate the term a teeny, tiny, infinitesimal bit less. Not nearly enough to apply it, of course. As far as I’m concerned, this is hardcore (and at that, a bit less mathy than the stuff that usually gets called the TermIWillNotUse).
This Is My Fist’s slightly retro punk sometimes remind more than a lil bit of The Avengers; Annie Saunders’ vocals frequently me of The Muffs’ Kim Shattuck. The split single with The Marked Men from a couple years back is particularly good (and streamable on Spotify).
Playing Sunday (in alphabetical order)
Ampere are, holy carp pond, brutal. Almost all of the songs on last year’s Like Shadows get in and do their damage in under 90 seconds. They’re not quite as dense as John Zorn’s Naked City, but not far off. Drummer Andy Skelly was in Wolves. Another reason to love this: so far as I can tell, Ampere have a woman as a musician and creative presence in the band — but not as a singer. Given that Ladyfest welcomes co-ed bands at all, I’m kinda delighted that Ladyfest is including bands of this ilk. (on Spotify)
Big Nils singer is Coco Gordon Moore. Right, that Coco Gordon Moore. She’s yelpy in a not un-Jemina Pearlish way; the band is a comparatively-straightforward-rhythm-section-supporting-seriously-anarchic-guitar affair. Mom and Dad should be proud. Check it out at Big Nils’ bandcamp.
Girlfriends include a dash of surf in their pop-punkish indie rock. I’m frequently a sucker for male/female harmony vocals, a device Girlfriends frequently employ. The new EP (streamable at Girlfriends bandcamp) sounds terrific.
Hilly Eye predates Amy Klein’s departure from Titus Andronicus; on record, at least, it’s a guitar/drum duo (with vocals from both Klein and collaborator Catherine Tung. Check it out at Hilly Eye’s bandcamp.
Honeysuck also evoke Be Your Own Pet. But Be Your Own Pet gone hardcore. You can stream their new release at Honeysuck’s bandcamp. Can’t find a source to buy the tracks so I can keep them forever and ever. Boo.
Slingshot Dakota are drum and guitar duo, not typical punk instrumentation, but even if they don’t necessarily sound punk qua punk, there’s a clear attitudinal kinship with more aggressive music. (It probably doesn’t hurt that Carly Comando’s voice is not dissimilar to Rainer Maria’s Caithlin De Marrais.) (Slingshot Dakota have one tune on the Are You with the Band? comp which I mentioned yesterday, you can check that out on Spotify. You can sample/buy their previous album Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours is the Golden Ghost! at eMusic. And you can count me among the many eager to hear the upcoming Dark Hearts.)
Thick Shakes play garage-influenced music that is transmogrified into punk via the application of insane amounts of fuzz, overdrive, and other forms of distortion. This sort of thing often strikes me as too self-consciously retro, but this has an infectiously fun spirit. Also I definitely like the “umami” pun that named their debut record.( Thick Shakes are on bandcamp.)
Titfit are unabashedly riot grrl — you can tell they love their Bratmobile — with a pleasantly lwo-tech, slightly garage-y vibe. Titfit bandcamp.