MISS ALEX WHITE / THE HUNCHES – Friday June 23rd 2006, Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco......
Folks have been telling me for years now how amazing THE HUNCHES
are live, and I will say this for ‘em: they’re solid. Solid in the sense that when the ass-tight rhythm section & freakout guitarist are cooking up a head of steam, their sound is as thunderous & raw as it is on their records. In fact the ham-handed melodic stuff that sort of mars their albums comes off much more steamrolling live, and I think it’s because this band are practically olde-timers (like four years and going!) by the standard of modern garage punk acts. That guitarist was really something else. I was warned about the singer’s flop-on-the-floor, look-at-me-I’m-a-stumblebum act and how, um, “disappointing” it would be, and let’s just say I was disappointed as warned. Some people just have a greater need for validation that others. I swear he couldn’t have pulled off a better John Brannon
circa ’88 look and shredded-vocal sound if he’d tried. No, of course he’s not apeing Brannon
, you guys, don’t be silly. Like I said, solid. I think they’ve got a few tricks left. MISS ALEX WHITE
(not sure if it was “The Red Orchestra” backing her up live
) put out one of my favorite records of 2005
, and on the evidence this evening, she’s going to be a favorite rock & roll mindblower for years to come. She blew in from Chicago with an armload of excellent gassed-up Ameripunk, both from her album & thereon – the new stuff I didn’t recognize was just great & will hopefully find its way to vinyl shortly. White & her band played a loose & rough version of Los Angeles punk circa 1977-79, cut with a pinch of girl-group harmonies and some tuff leather-rawk every now & again. A winning combination no matter how it’s diced. I guess I didn’t expect it to be as good as the record, and it was better. Now that’s
a fine night out.