Live at the Larimer Lounge for an evening of edgy art pop ‘n’ punk.
BY TIM HINELY
I hadn’t heard Lithics before but they hail from my old stomping grounds of Portland, Oregon. Three guys on guitar/bass/drums and one deadpan female on guitar/vocals. They really delivered a convincing set of quirkly art pop/ no wave kinda stuff with good short songs. I was at times reminded of Pylon, UT (remember them?), and a little Bush Tetras, too. I couldn’t tell you the names of any of the songs but if you’re planning on catching Priests gig they’re definitely worth showing up early for (and it looks like their Bandcamp page has plenty for sale).
My first time seeing Priests and I believe that vocalist Katie Alice Greer stated that this was their first time in Denver and she was excited by that. The Washington, DC quartet are touring on the heels of their debut lp, Nothing Feels Natural that came out earlier this year on the band’s own Sister Polygon Records. The record is a fresh blast of angular, politicized punk that at times reminded me of Bikini Kill and Bratmobile.
On stage Greer is all over the place, staring audience members down then giving them a sly smile while guitarist GL Jaguar rips out dirty chords and is moving, too. The rhythm section of drummer Daniele Daniele and new bassist Fabi Reyna are the glue that holds it sall together. Songs from the LP, like “JJ,” “No Big Bang,” “Suck,” “Pink White House” and the title track take on the feel of classics every time I hear them.
I expected more political banter between songs, but aside from one mention of the Charlottesville incident that happened earlier in the day, she was more friendly and playful in chatting with the crowd. Having said that, this band is the real deal, don’t take her kindness for weakness. She can change that tune in a second and begin spitting out lyrics that will set you on your ear (as on “Pink White House”).
It’s not all one big emotional spit though. The band can be understated and subtle when they want to be. That’s one of the things that makes them so special.
In a city like Washington, DC where the Dischord label looms large and bands like these have come (and gone) it takes a special kind of band to really stand out from the pack and Priests have done just that. I’m glad to see that not only did they do it on record, that live they can deliver as well.