Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Resist Her Transistor and Wanda Chrome | A Night of Milwaukee Punk Rock

Wanda Chrome

Resist Her Transistor

On Friday night, I went to see my old band Wanda Chrome play with Resist Her Transistor at Linnemans. One band has been around for almost twenty years, the other is pretty new. They both played old school, punk influenced music that makes me feel good. One band’s roots are part of the Detroit rock, MC5, Stooges era. The other took a page from the most basic of punk styles, but certainly made it work for 2011.

Wanda Chrome the Loudest Band in Milwaukee

I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but Wanda Chrome is still the loudest band in Milwaukee. Cliff ran his guitar through a pair of Marshall half stacks. So did Marie on bass. The room didn’t need that much volume, nor did it need further amplifying from Cliff when he also had the guitar pumped through the p.a. system. But that’s Wanda Chrome. Bring ear plugs, and enjoy the ride. I don’t know of any other band that rehearses at full stage volume. When I filled in for their drummer Joel, I wondered how he handles Cliff’s stomach churning-on the fringes of a brown note- volume. Then again, I’m talking about a drummer who kicks a 24” bass drum. He can handle it.

Wanda Chrome could hardly contain their glee when they hit the stage. Perhaps it’s only because I know these folks on a very personal level, but I will bet that I wasn’t the only one who could see that they were having a great time. The band played their classic songs like Pill Party, Jet Black, and N.R.A. They included songs by the Flamin’ Groovies and MC5. You can’t have a WCLP show without some classic songs like those. The band was tight. They were so tight that the only flub of the night made the crowd cheer. When you are crushing song after song, a false start can break the ice. Let’s hope that they don’t wait another four years before playing their next show.

Resist Her Transistor puts the B in Basic Punk Rock

Don’t think for a second that the headline above is anything but a compliment. Resist Her Transistor makes sublime punk rock. What is their secret? Steph Schreiber’s vocals follow the melody of the song nearly note for note. It is also how her guitar introductions tell everyone that she came up with a lick, and the band built it up from there. (That’s a guess.) Yes, I must admit that they get away with some things that a band fronted by a male singer would not. Slightly off key vocals seem not to bother me when they are sung by a woman with some sort of serious anger. When Schriber breaks free from the “vocals must mimic the melody” formula, I like that band even more.

I feel that that they are more talented than they reveal, this band of three. They have a raw sound that takes me right back to the basement days of 1982. I bought their disc. It was the best $2 that I have ever spent. Favorite Resist Her Transistor track: Cut that bitch.

No comments: