Tue April 1, 2014
Black Planet: Female Hysteria
Like a bad-for-you woman, sporting tattoos and an eyebrow-piercing, the kind that you might spy across the bar - it was love at first sight for me and Black Planet. In truth, there is very little about Black Planet and their 5-song EP Female Hysteria that is not completely adorable and endearing.
Black Planet is a collision of local artists, comprised of good friends Jerri Queen [Tweens] and Dylan McCartney [Mardou] on guitar who have joined up with local visual artist Elsa Lee on bass and Izzie Kitten [Buenos Crotches] on drums. Elsa and Jerri take turns on lead vocals and generate a sound that is pure, bone-deep garage punk with heavy overtones of 60's girl-group doo-wop. McCartney and Queen always seem to immerse themselves in music that would fit quite nicely into a David Lynch soundtrack.
The opening song, "A Room of Her Own," is a fearless synergy of The Shangi-Las and The Eyeliners. The sound is, in a word, captivating.
"Bitter Taste" is, for the most part, a straightforward 12-bar blues-based punk drive - and although Jerri takes lead vocals on this track, I can't help but feel the strong influence of The Runaways with just a touch of L7.
In the discordant and cacophonous "Creep," McCartney's input is most present, given his love of dissonance, noise and song-form explorations.
This is then followed by the bittersweet "Sad Sad Song" which starts off nice and clean, with layered, airy and sparse vocals, but then splinters with an abrupt screeching guitar lead.
Closing the EP is "Bad Moon," another grinding, atonal piece that drips with tension. The heavily-distorted vocals on "Bad Moon" bring to mind classic 80's punk bands like Concrete Blonde or Romeo Void.
If Black Planet is that dangerous liaison just a quick walk across the sticky barroom floor, there are two choices you can make.
You can play it safe, stay with what you know, and reassure yourself that you maintained self-control and made the right choice.
Or you can take a chance, live a little, and probably have the greatest night of your life -- the kind you will never tell anyone about.