When: Sat., Jan. 3, 8 p.m. 2015
What’s so perfect about Wretched Pinups, the debut full-length from the local Bikini Kill devotees in Swimsuit Addition, is that though the album (out on cassette via Berserk Records) is wrapped in danceable bubblegum guitar riffs and bouncy vocal melodies, it’s actually chock-full of bratty, switchblade-toting punk rock—the type you wouldn’t want to bump into while moseying down a dark alleyway. Each member of the all-female four-piece contributes vocals, spawning a modern-day West Side Story hoodlum vibe—just replace the in-unison snapping and theatrical choreography with hard sneers and playful vocal layering. “Tiara,” maybe the album’s most ambitious (and best) track, is loaded with all of the above, but Swimsuit Addition still enjoys keeping it simple and snotty: the two-minute jam that follows, “Bop It,” revolves around the very straightforward lyrics “Fuck it. Suck it. Lick it. Trick it. Tuck it. Tug it. Love it. Shove it.” Well done. Make sure to look for a Berserk-endorsed vinyl run of Wretched Pinups come February.
When you name a band Rat Hammer and design a logo in which a rat’s skull is the shape of a hammerhead, you’ve kind of already won, haven’t you? But the fun doesn’t stop there for the local loose-cannon punk band, the members of which are also behind the DIY space known as the Flowershop. Their recent self-released debut, Baby Carrots (which was funded by shows the dudes have thrown), is a wild-out blend of sneering, up-yours punk—not unlike the brand made popular by the old-school Fireside Bowl heroes in Apocalypse Hoboken—and whatever filth and grime your grandparents blame this broken, fucked society for having puked forth. Tracks like “Whiskey” and “Six Shooter” are loud and fast and as direct as their names indicate—and like so many of the album’s scorchers, they only slow down long enough to take a fresh shit on your freshly shined shoes. —Kevin Warwick
Price: $5 suggested donation