Egg Drop Soup (EP release), Girl Friday, Facial
Egg Drop Soup is injecting some adrenaline (and much needed feminism) into the flaccid veins of today’s music scene. The punk trio’s massive sound has got the fire we all need to get us off our asses and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. The group formed in late 2017 after bass player and lead vocalist Samantha (Sammy/Sam) Westervelt came up with the name – a euphemism for menstruation – and was joined by guitarist Olivia Saperstein and drummer Greg Settino.
While separately they spent several years writing sad-girl, singer/songwriter stuff, Westervelt and Saperstein knew they needed an outlet for their societal rage. With encouragement from her bandmates, Westervelt was able to develop her signature vocal style that rides the fence between a sweet somber murmur to the demonic wail that has helped define the band’s unique sound. Combined with Saperstein’s ripping guitar riffs, Westervelt’s heavy low-end bass lines, and Settino’s drum stylings that make your brains go BOOM, they write furiously high octane songs that push the limits of punk.
FACIAL makes the noise that cuts like a chainsaw through the thick buildup of residue in your mind, left behind by years of dealing with the dull banality of life. They take the dead parts of your brain killed by mundane repetition and blasts it away with a pressure hose, while the low end rattles all the barnacles off your body and pounds you the way you are always afraid to ask for. Sweet melodies interchange with primal screaming as you fluctuate between comfort and discomfort, horror and jubilation, familiarity and utter confusion.
If FACIAL were to be represented only by emojis, it would probably be: The guy with sunglasses on, Upside-down smiley guy, and The guy with x’s for eyes. bored to death.
Girl Friday think of themselves as an explicitly feminist project, though not in the didactic way one might expect from that appellation. The L.A-based quartet, founded by bassist Libby Hsieh and guitarist Vera Ellen after they met at a UCLA house party a couple of years back, operates collectively, each member taking turns at the microphone and equal parts in songwriting; they’re all big personalities and big presences, but they find balance—and complement—in one another. There had been iterations of the band before, but none had truly clicked until drummer Virginia Pettis and guitarist Sierra Scott joined. This is the iteration of the band found on Girl Friday’s new EP, Fashion Conman; in four nimble tracks, these young women are able to fuse mod-pop a la the early Bangles with ‘90s alt-rock (“we all love Hole,” they say with enthusiasm), the urgency and tension of minimalist ‘70s post-punk, and contemporary observations, without sounding like pastiche. They’re uninterested in genre designations, and hope nobody’s ever able to pinpoint them in a word.
Visuals by Melissa Yardley Clifford + DJ Tony Knox of KXLU