We all need a midweek pick me up sometimes and what better way to get it than with some in your fucking face rock n roll??? I personally can’t think of a better way. Finding myself in the middle of a busy week, I was more than happy to leave all of that behind and enter into a rock oasis with Bat Fangs on a Wednesday night, with a nice shot of experimental alt noise from Beech Creeps to sweeten the deal.
This is what the Don Giovanni website has to say about Bat Fangs and their origin story:
Born of a shared love of hair metal, partying, and the reckless spirit of rock and roll, Washington D.C./ Carborro, NC duo Bat Fangs brings a fiery combination of shredderistic guitars and heavily harmonized hooks. Guitarist/vocalist Betsy Wright (Ex Hex) and drummer Laura King (Mac McCaughan, Speed Stick) united after playing a show together in their respective projects, with the goal of pushing Wright’s pop focused songwriting in a bolder, brasher direction. Taking up the primary songwriting role and shifting to guitar, Wright steps outside of the typical Ex Hex sound with Bat Fangs’ rowdy rock.
Their sophomore LP, “Queen of My World” is a reeling, rocking mass of guitar and vocals that serves as both a reclamation and a reevaluation of a sound that was once a breeding ground for a particularly egregious brand of cock rock dude-bro. Paying tribute to the glam rock and metal sounds of their youth while offering a modernized alternative to an era of music that deified toxic masculinity as a core value, Wright and King represent a new model of Rock Stardom that’s less about the Stars and more about the Rock.
I really couldn’t have said it better. I have loved listening to their recorded output which absolutely encapsulates this feeling and so much more. But it’s in their live performances that you can feel the real “shredderistic” vibes coming at you and go for you they do, going right for the jugular in the process. Watching Betsy Wright play, the only thing going through my mind was not “riffs for days,” but rather RIFFS FOR CENTURIES, and ones which would have any of those cock rock dude bros green with envy. I am 100% here for it and breaking away from the hyper masculinity of rock stardom and making our own spaces as women creating music that ROCKS and makes you feel like you’re at an arena show in late 70s (not that I was personally there for any shows in the late 70s, but you get the idea). You get this in spades with Bat Fangs.
Bat Fangs at Union Pool
As if Bat Fangs set wasn’t enough, the cherry on top was getting to see Beech Creeps open the show. The trio features members of Guided By Voices, Ex Models, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and is an explosive and experimental alt rock noise collision. The sound could best be described as teetering right on the edge of chaos but never quite falling off, and for sure it was just what I needed. I am also a little sad to admit that this show was actually my first time seeing the inimitable drummer Brian Chase perform; It was truly something to watch him and a big highlight for me. He is such a dynamic and expressive player, though I do suppose seeing him up close at a venue like Union Pool was the real treat, because even if I had seen him previously with YYYs, I definitely would not have gotten such an intimate look at his playing. He does with a three piece kit and one cymbal what many drummers with giant kits can’t even come close to. A drummer among drummers, it was truly magical watching him play.
I was supremely refreshed after watching these two powerhouse acts play, not quite ready to return to “real life,” but more resolved to do it anyway and get through it with a bit more pep in my step at least. This is the true gift of great rock n roll, one that keeps on giving and giving.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)