They shared bills with contemporaries like the Five, Carsickness and the Cardboards, but unlike those bands, Pittsburgh's Dress Up As Natives sounded every bit a "lost" UK DIY act. Boasting jumpy rhumba-bass, thorny guitar and flippant vox, it's hard to believe that this all-female quartet's sole 45 (Public Records, '82) originated in America's formative Rust Belt punk scene.
But, hey: It did. This odd outfit actually began as the Non-Stops, a similarly wavey group with a co-ed roster. "The Non-Stops were basically the original Natives with someone named Rebecca playing bass," said Gina Cotton Simpson, former keys player for DUAN. "Rather than kick her out, they all quit on her and restarted the band to form Dress Up As Natives."
That was sometime in '81, and they'd already forged their own sound through shows at the now-legendary Electric Banana, gigs in Market Square, occasional road trips to Ohio and West Virginia -- and through frequent practices at the Krishna House, where Simpson once lived along with members of the Five and Carsickness.