Lock away your children, shutter your windows, and hide your men-folk– the Detroit based punk/metal/pop thrash-out that is Broadzilla is coming to town! Broadzilla are to the latest crop of girl-pop sensations dominating the airwaves (now thankfully waning) as hard liquor is to sweet mixed drinks with umbrellas.
For those of you not particularly brilliant with analogies, let me simplify it for you. Broadzilla do to Britney Spears what Godzilla (no relation) did to Tokyo. Utter destruction, of the best possible kind!
Broadzilla is Rachel May on vocals and guitar, Kim Essiambre on bass and backing vocals, and Angie Manley on drums and backing vocals. May’s guitar work is mostly distortion-heavy chord-based riff-rock, but in this field where she excels admirably.
Essiambre is an okay bass player; she mostly follows and supports May’s guitar work, not usually venturing far away from the notes May’s six-string churns out. Manley, on the other hand, is a great drummer, well able to pound the heads with the best hard-rockers around.
“Y Did U Have 2B Psycho?” a track from the group’s latest self-released album, Lady Luck (2001), begins with a quick drum roll before May and Essiambre jump in with a guitar/bass intro-riff blitz. This is followed by some more riffing, and then the verse begins: “You’re the kind of guy that white-trash girls adore/ But your moments been out since 1984/Talking that trash to me like you might have a chance/ Like school in the summer you ain’t got no class/ Jackass!”
May spits out the words with vigor and spite (two adjectives that sum up most of the group’s numbers), her voice taking on that rare perfect sheen where whiskey and smoking mix. And for all you “dudes” who fit in the previously described category, don’t even think about trying to get with this band.
As the chorus goes: “And I don’t think you’ll ever go away/ There’s one of you in every town we play/ I know you really want it babe, but the answer’s no/ Why did you have to be psycho?” If that doesn’t put some ice in your shorts, nothing will.
The band played the 2000 Van’s Warped Tour, has opened for L7, the Lunachicks, and the Deftones, among others, and was invited to perform on opening night of Limp Bizkit’s 2000 tour. Although seeing Broadzilla is likely to inflame the imaginations of young impressionable males (etc…) throughout Charlottesville, the band gives no evidence of being concocted by a ruthless promoter or media conglomerate.
They have released two albums on their own record label, are their own managers, and hold to a DIY (do it yourself) ethic that would make a jaded indie rocker proud. These ladies don’t need some middle-aged grizzled fat-cat picking out their outfits for them– the leather is their own.
Broadzilla perform at Outback Lodge, January 25. $6, 10pm.