Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ettes - Red In Tooth and Claw

The Ettes - Red In Tooth and Claw.mp3 Listen on Posterous

The Ettes were not a new concept for me when I saw them at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on September 4. I had heard a few mp3s, watched a video or two on YouTube. You know, not an obsession, but certainly not a real familiarity.

The crowd, which felt to be about the same number of people from start to finish, though I was up against the stage the whole time so I can’t be too sure, stood through The Bam Bams, who were intense, especially their super-focused drummer who smiled through the entire set, and Friends, who channeled parts of the 80s I’m glad I wasn’t all that into during my single-digit years of life.

Coco, Poni and Jem finally took the stage after this mix and proceeded to pound the shit out of the audience. Like, whoa.

When it comes to pounding, really, Poni is an animal. By “is an animal,” I mean she has certain qualities that set apart her favorite drummer, Animal, from the rest of the pack. Hanging over her set, while abusing the kick drum especially, she supplies a backbone that most bands would kill for.

The bassist is often the sane guy in the band - Flea notwithstanding - and Gem covers that. His playing also often has a guitar-like quality. He looks like the coolest mother fucker in the room. The band obviously has something to do with it.

Which brings me to Coco. When she howls, and her eyes roll back in her head before she starts pounding her guitar again, it’s hard not to fall in love for a second. The woman is fronting a ferocious punk band, and she sounds like the kind of “let’s fuck and move on” rock star that Robert Plant embodied. And like Plant, she’s got a few lyrics that cover that exactly.

This whole beat punk thing, that's their word, and which seems pretty accurate, finds the band’s albums progressively mellowing in speed, but maintaining heaviness. And everything is faster in concert anyway, resulting in a now two-month obsession over the full four album discography of The Ettes.

What I’ve come away with - full disclosure, I’m listening to their third album, “Do You Want Power” for the third time today, of which “Red In Tooth and Claw” is the first track - is that The Ettes, with Coco as their center-piece, are ahead of all the rock bands aping old sounds. They’ve taken from punk, 60s whatever, and country just enough to turn out a sound that doesn’t really sound like anybody else. Which is probably why their discography has remained on repeat since that night in DC.

Buy The Ettes album Do You Want Power, and the rest of their discography, at Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

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