Wednesday September 20th 2017

Whoopi Sticks – “Surprising Squirts”

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Whoopi Sticks – “Surprising Squirts”

 

My punk daughter, Lindsey, who sings, writes and bangs drums for this band- recently offered me one of their t-shirts.

It said upon it, “We Are Spunk,” the name of their last, ahem, “release.”

I said, “Thanks, but I can’t really wear that. If I was 40 years younger and 40 pounds lighter- had a spiky hairdo with a studded leather jacket, folks would look at me and say- “Oh, look at that young guy. He’s just trying to be rebellious”.

With me wearing it, it would be, “Look at that middle-aged pervert! Quick- alert the police. He’s gonna molest our kids!”

She then offered me another band t-shirt, this one with a rocket ship upon it.
 
“Hmm, it’s shaped to look like a giant penis, right?” I asked.

Again, if I was forty years younger-

Whoopi Sticks says it’s “spunky punk your ma won’t like,” which is probably true. But it is also a band that has a unique and creative vision that is potent and as pure as the original punk bands, but also would fit in with the anger and energy of riot grrl and really, with any expressive female fronted music that has guts and balls (all-right, that has guts and tits). I feel they provide an alternative to the somewhat, overly aggressive male orientated music of metal and hardcore with instead, music that has more variety, is more expressive, more fun and is more open- which may be why most of my favorite local bands are female orientated. Or it could just be that I’m a loony tune.

Oh, and can I add that their music is tons of fun, meaningful and passionate?

I can’t! Not enough time.

Well, at least I tried:

“Molecular Mom” is quite unlike any other song in the Whoopi Sticks catalog. Just the name of the song, itself, refers to the chemical relationship to a person, but implies a lack of emotional attachment or closeness. The music is tom-tom driven, dirge-y and heavy, almost overbearing unlike their usual energetic and exuberant tunes. With it’s excellent dissonant, guitar lines it makes me think of Siouxsie & The Banshees or even P.I.L. “She’ll drive you. Expectation. Live for her. More! Till you are her. Till you are no more, till you are dead.” You could say this song is dreary, but it’s never boring- I find it honest, intense and arty (in a good way), emotional and true.

“Fuck Song” is a hardcore blast of aggression that rhythmically, escapes the normal route with Devo-esque blast and (surprising) spurts with an underlying surf groove. I believe it’s a retort to people saying she’s not “tough enough, punk enough,”- and I’ve heard this garbage directed to women on the scene before. Another poignant line is, “When I say, Fuck You! Don’t wanna Fuck You!” That I feel women should relate to. There’s a great, grunge-y, garage-y lick that arises midstream only to have the song propel itself back into a punk cyclone of sound. “Fuck is the greatest single word- Fuck you, I’m so tough. Fuck ya, swear enough? Fuck off! You fucking fuck.” All I want to add is this is a great *%##&! song!

“Wiener For A Day,” starts with a fuzzy, melodic guitar line, that is soon bum rushed into a energetic, thrusting beat. This song seems to be about a dream a woman has about having a penis on her body for a day. “I just want a wiener for today. Will you hear what I say? If I had a wiener for the day.” Meaning, I think- would you then treat her with the respect and authority that you give a man?  Me, I’d settle for a hot dog with cheese and spicy mustard but these Whoopi Sticks, obviously, have other designs. There’s some rhythmic changes that the band handles aptly- is this what they call penis envy? LOL. This is song full of passion and whimsy, originality and truth and makes your attention stay erect and alert through usage.

“Dick Jazz,”…Hmm, never saw that title coming, is my favorite song on the EP. It starts with a subterranean, echo-y surf beat and a staccato guitar that recalls sixties surf instrumentals. But as it swerves forwards the rhythm changes, slightly, and the mode of the song is changed into Cuban/jazz avant-garde. The lyrics are so lascivious our sponsors censored them on the spot. This song is obscenely fun, groovin’ and exotic- retro and futuristic at the same time and wonderfully unique. Ending with a nice, Poly Styrene falsetto.

“Hair Monster” is a surf-y, garage-y, punk-y number that starts off with a simple but effective bass lick then moves into a great garage guitar lick that rolls over your mind like a punk steamroller. Besides sporting an excellent, catchy chorus- this song sounds like The B-52’s jamming with The Cramps and The Fall. Great end to a great EP.

Lindsey is really a sweet, young lady. But as I notice from the lyrical content of this EP- something, somewhere went seriously wrong.

As her father, I take full responsibility for this. As I tried to lead her into a conventional, Christian, conservative, mindless, hateful, bigoted life- but it seems, somehow I failed.

Thankfully though, the music has some great influences such as early punk rock (X-Ray Spec, Devo), riot grrl music (like Bikini Kill, L7)- plus, there’s surf music, nineties melodic punk. There’s a lot in the mix but it all contains passion and fury, fun and ferociousness, frailty and power, ecstasy and pain.

And this raw, real, pure music spells out punk with a capital “P” to me.

And if you listen to the jams on this recording and really read the lyrics, read between the lines. I believe you’ll see punk staring right back at you.

Wide-eyed and wild, looking back into your eyes. That is before it startles…

and goes scattering off into the night.

(Slimedog)

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