A Strong Guitar-Fueled Quadruplebill in Bushwick on the 14th
Since the more financially sensible New York venues have been dropping apartheid restrictions on entry, is there anything left of the rock scene here? Happily, yes, and it looks like Our Wicked Lady in Bushwick is leading the way. There’s an excellent punk and punk-adjacent bill coming up on April 14 starting at around 8 with catchy female-fronted powerpop/janglerock band the Rizzos, then cynical punks Duke of Vandals, the fearlessly pro-immigrant, all-female Frida Kill and kinetic no-wavers Weeping Icon topping the bill at around 11. The club webpage says cover is $11.33 which realistically translates to twelve bucks at the door.
The Rizzos go back awhile: they’ve been around at least since contributing the best song on a 2014 King Pizza holiday compilation, a sludgy powerpop number where frontwoman/guitarist Megan Mancini announces that “Everyone’s excited for Christmas except for me.” They released their limited-edition cassette How It Was at the end of last year, and it’s still available and streaming at Bandcamp.
Mancini is a down-to-earth, unselfconsciously strong singer and a catchy tunesmith, joining forces with six-stringer Joshua Park for a tasty, beefy blend of distorted guitar. Drummer Bettina Warshaw grounds the band’s roaring powerpop songs with the heavy foot they deserve. They open the record with Lost Boys, an amped-up, stomping take on Brian Jonestown Massacre-style post-Velvets rock.
Bassist Justin Ferraro soars up the fretboard behind the roar of the catchy chords in the second track, Way Out. Other cuts which stand out are Breslin, which is a cut above your standard-issue skittish Velvets rock; the bittersweet Nowhere in Particular; Heavy Song, a richly textured, anthemic ballad; and the album’s most retro and arguably catchiest track, Crybaby.
It’s reassuring to know that there are still bands this good who’ve survived the past two years of hell. For those who might be thinking about this show but put off by the location – “Ewwww, Bushwick!” – consider that much of the crowd who invaded over the past several years have since gone home to mommy.