As the days get shorter and the nights colder, the game of booking shows becomes more and more difficult. In the age of digital media, concertgoers can passively check out a band in less than 30 seconds, making the decision of "Should I stay or should I go" both easy and apathetic. Thankfully, the kids were out in throngs last night for Supersonic Piss, The Liz, and St. Louis' own Shaved Women.
I arrived just minutes into Supersonic Piss' set. Jam packed on the recreational side of a smokey CBGBs, I was once again in awe of the punk-addled monster. Having caught SSP in Iowa City this past summer, I can honestly say that they bring it to every set they play. Hovering between noise rock and spazz punk, SSP annihilate on every level: thundering percussion, dynamic chainsaw guitar, tidal wave bass, and the enigmatic howl of lead singer, Paige Harwell. Harwell's stage presence puts her up there with the greats: Blank stares, hard-stomping, confrontation, and a voice that ranges from gravel pit growl to horror-film shriek. Supersonic Piss are truly masters of their niche.
Minneapolis' The LIz quickly took the stage, launching into a short set of feedback drenched rock n roll. The Liz are elementally psychedelic with hints of post-hardcore. Explosive repetition, crumbling riffs, and guttural moans defined this sonic shocked quartet.
In a smart move by promoter, Luc Michalski, Shaved Women played last on the bill. Quickly having risen to the top of most STL hardcore/punk kids' list of favorite bands, SW did not disappoint. Rowdy and riled, the band kicked off the set with a bit of new material from their upcoming record. Sporting leather jackets (with bare-chests underneath!) singer Ben Salyers and bassist Johnny Birkner looked like a psychosexual duo straight out of 'Cruising.' Angst-filled vocals, Greg Ginn-esque guitar, solid drumming, and Birkner's wild bass stylings launched a rather aggro crowd into a fury. After plowing quickly through their set, SW changed the pace by ripping into 'Static,' a rather slow burner, trudging through mud and bone. A good chunk of the crowd sang along gregariously to such (now) classics like "Circles" and "Every Day Life," following with a killer version of The Ramones' "Endless Vacation." What has become an ending staple to their sets, Shaved Women knocked off a cover of Die Kruezen's "Think For Me." The night was done.