Madison/NYC punk duo Damsel Trash marks the release of a new album. Info/tix
Meghan Rose and Emily Mills have used their side project Damsel Trash to blast out punk songs filled with crude humor, feminist rage, and their opinions about such unsavory targets as men's-rights activists and Scott Walker. As a live band, it's a simple proposition: Rose's distorted guitar and bass, Mills' raucous drums, both shouting a lot and sporting wacky getups of one kind or another. (Full disclosure: Mills is an occasional Tone Madison contributor.) Damsel Trash's third album, The EPP Tape, which the band will celebrate here, doesn't make things any more serious or town down the intentional absurdity and tackiness. But it does back up Damsel Trash's over-the-top persona with the band's most thoughtfully executed and varied set of tracks so far.
On opener "Watch It Now (The Bike Song)," Rose channels the story of a (potentially?) fatal car-bike accident through creepy-crawly grunge dynamics, attaining a nice guttural roar on the chorus. "Don't Eat That" finds Mills and Rose basically acting out a skit about gross food, and "Fuck Trump" is a self-explanatory shout-along affair. The duo experiments with a brighter, more power-pop-informed approach on "No FOMO," a playful but self-affirming duet about the glories of staying in for the night: "It's 9 and I'm tired / It's fine to be boring." The album wraps up with two covers. Rose turns the sample/synth hook of Britney Spears' "Toxic" becomes a grimy rapid-fire low-end riff, and gives the vocals a dash of over-the-top menace ("taste of poison para-diiii-ssse" with, say, a James Hetfield-style jaw-clench). Mills turns in an impressive vocal performance on a relatively straight-up version of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"—a stylistic reach for the duo, and one that totally works. Two other Madison bands, black-metal trio Tubal Cain and surf-infused punk outfit Venus In Furs, support Damsel Trash on this solid bill. —Scott Gordon