Live & local

That name is clearly a bunch of bullshit. “We love you, Christine!” a group of ladies shouts at the drummer from the back of the crowd jam-packed around the performance area. True, the Mix is almost always preview-of-2060 overpopulated on Friday nights, but the draw tonight is slightly different: disproportionately female (So Unloved’s MySpace headline is “More clit in the pit!”) and largely decked out in the elaborate punk garb you more often spot at Zombies. There are several others sporting foxtails and cat ears and shit, but that’s more likely due to the San Japan convention happening downtown than and indication that the band’s cultivating some sort of furry following.

“This one’s off our new album,” vocalist and guitarist (and, according to our readers, one of the Best Bartenders in San Antonio) Omega announces before show-opener “Zombies,” a heavy thrasher that sounds like the band listened to “Green Hell” and decided Glenn Danzig is kind of a wuss. Omega’s mastered the art of singing like her throat’s about to gush blood any second for a half-hour straight, and the band follows suit, pounding away at their instruments without mercy. The audience attempts to scream along, but they can’t be expected to keep up. Mellower (here meaning “featuring slightly more singing than screaming”) So Unloved songs, such as “Black and Blue,” do exist, but they don’t make it on tonight’s set list. The sporadic vocal harmony or guitar solo the band tosses in tonight seems intended to prove the band’s capable of pulling them off as much as to change up the pace, and at their most genteel, So Unloved sounds like grownup Runaways raised by a rabid lion pride.

A few fans playfully shove each other around, when they aren’t group-hugging, but all real violence is confined in the music.

“Drink, drink, drink,” Omega chants between songs. “Apparently I’m supposed to stay sober, somewhat. It’s not fucking fair.” And that’s about as angry-sounding as she gets without musical accompaniment.

“No Cause” begins with Monica’s comparatively gentle rolling bass line punctuated by semi-automatic drum bursts. It’s a total psych-out, of course; not 30 seconds in Omega and Cece are back to shredding. “Stay away from me,” Omega screams, and you’d be awfully dumb to disobey.

Rather than saving the screaming for a forceful breakdown, So Unloved go aggro verse after verse and meter out the melodics — like the excellent and extremely brief Spanish-guitar-influenced interlude toward the end of “Secretion” — in half bars and single-line refrains. Their spot-on cover of likeminded Betty Blowtorch’s “Love/Hate,” winner of an informal audience poll, folds in creaselessly with the rest of the set though Omega manages to sound even more pissed off than the late Bianca “Butthole” Halstead, even while she’s grinning the whole way through.

So Unloved
Fri, Jul 9
The Mix
2423 N. St. Mary’s
(210) 735-1313

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