I saw 'em explode once. So did many others. It was a sold-out show. May of '09. Opening for a reunited Chrome Cranks. Glasslands: place is packed with good-time misanthropes ready for a prime piece. Foursome lurks onstage, nary an introduction. Ratchets volume up to red levels. Volleys out waves of great, green ugly noise. It laps at the shore of the crowd for all of four songs. Then Ryan Skeleton Boy whips his bass at a wall, the other two gents drop their guitars, and drummer and all stalk to a dark corner offstage admist a glorious feedback serenade.
"I had people tell me that was our best show," says guitarist/vocalist Kristian Brenchley. "It was a lotta fun."
Fun, sure. Memorable, yeah. Volatile, you bet. A stellar display.
And an atypical one. Because beyond premature explosions and mere volatility, the band is actually a sort of machine -- a black paisley mash of Aussie dark-day rock (Scientists, feedtime), '80s Midwestern knuckle-drag (Drunks with Guns, first Vertigo 45) and LES dirt (Pussy Galore). Their din's bent by the metallic thud of Skeleton Boy's bass, tangled up in a caustic two-way guitar cacaphony of Brenchley and Brett Schultz, grounded -- but just barely -- by Alex Velasquez's thudding drum. When they're not tossing instruments at concrete walls, when they're just as focused as they are loud and unhinged, WOMAN are probably one of the better bands in the NYC area. Largely because they dare to keep this area scummy. Or at least celebrate when it once was.
As evinced by "When the Wheel's Red," culled from their self-titled LP on Bang! Records (2009), this foursome means it. And they're currently recording tracks for their follow-up album, which, judging from their live show, is going to be a good one.
Speaking of the live show, these gents are heading to Yurp in October. Be sure to catch 'em, because since vocalist/guitarist Schultz moved to Mexico City, they don't play as often as they once did. There's no telling when they might finally explode for good. Go forth: