You can almost smell the foursome the moment you lay eyes on them in their faded cut-off shirts. Bassist Crystal Casas, guitarist Vanessa Ray, and Briana Lozano share vocal duties, while their hair clings to their sweaty, straining faces.
With songs like “Baby Animal Core” and “Megabitch!,” post-riot-grrl band Lisa Frank’s goal doesn’t seem to be provoking the youth to revolt in the streets so much as encouraging their audience to develop an interest in individualism, feminism, and DIY ethos. Fittingly, they set up on the floor at the same level as the audience.
Opener “Grrlz Just Wanna Have Fun” is more likely to be a tribute to the 1990s feminist-minded punk movement than to Cyndi Lauper’s 1984 we’re-not-here-to-please-a-man platinum single, but the song carries a similar message. For about a minute, its only lyrics are “I’m just a grrl and I want to have fun” and “We’re just girls and we want to have fun.” The music sounds closer to a punk score for the fight scene between Black Mamba and O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill.
The crowd cries out, “Pizza!” requesting the song “Fuk Luv Eat Pizza,” and Lisa Frank delivers. Drummer Theresa Moher takes over the vocal duties, and Lozano replaces her behind the kit. Moher stretchs her legs, positions her feet tightly together, puts a hand on her hip, and begins shrieking into the microphone. She flips to face Lozano, then arches her back. The crowd cheers and whistles as she shrieks, “Same old story different year/ I’m not here for your appeal/ Fuk love eat pizza/ Fuk love eat pizza!“ Moher’s vocals are so tight and fast, it almost sounds like she’s rapping.
The audience remains attentive if for no other reason than not wanting to miss any part of Ray’s long nest of blond dreads flopping while she shreds, Lozano’s cute, youthful face straining while she pounds away at the drums in a classic punk pattern, Casas’s disembowled-by-Freddy-Kruger screams, or Moher’s unforgettable dance moves. If it didn’t look like they’ve been shipwrecked on desert island, you might easily fall in love with all four of them.
Cousins Lozano and Casas exchange instruments for closer “Megabitch!” Punk chords throb, as Moher’s heavily tattooed arms bang out a rhythm to accompany Casas’s screams: “Kitty Kitty don’t run away/ It’s such a pity, pity sitting hear all day.”
It’s a lovely soundtrack for a punk-show-bound teenager’s escape out her bedroom window or as the full-on, over-the-speed-limit noisy and foul-mouthed, yet oddly comforting salve for a broken heart.
Wed, Jun 9
The Ten Eleven
1011 Ave. B
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.