Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bruiser Queen on Certified PR Records

Bruiser Queen is a duo from St. Louis, home to one of the first bands I ever bought a single from, Bunnygrunt. They must have been passing through NYC and played the basement of Acme, a weird southern food place in the lower east side, for some reason they had a venue under the restaurant. I must have been there with friends but loved this band immediately and bought Family Notebook at their mercy table. Ever since I've been picking up their singles here and there over the years - all from seeing them once. That's really what singles are all about for me, a random night, a couple of bucks, a band you're surprised by but even more it's about everything that surrounds that tiny record sometimes. Bruiser Queen are more than just from the same city, they happen to be super friends with the other St. Louis duo who are still releasing records twenty years later and have played shows together. Not that they sound remotely similar to the singles I've picked up, but any friend of Bunnygrunt is a friend of mine.

A-Side's "In Your Room" rips into the always huge sound of a duo and immediately reminds me of The Hussy's pounding reverb garage combined with Shannon Shaw's impressive vocals. Morgan Nusbaum has similar pipes with real bite and serious snarl at times in a lower end bellow. Completely comfortable to run this up the register and ditch the control she has and it's all recorded within range, not one piece of blown out, unrecoverable rock here. They deliver this loud but keeping within that solid bar of sound, her jangle distorted guitar and Jason on drums keeping a solid metronome beat. Morgan is her own waoooooo backup and this has something to do with the '60s jangle garage sound, especially the hot rod harmony stuff but it's so fast with punchy caveman energy that would just destroy anything else even in range. Morgan gets right up to the edge of almost losing control but it's so good it doesn't even have to be doubled to make you stand up and pay attention. Completely related to The Hussy in similar smash beat and party vocals, not in content, it's just the kind of thing that makes you happy, even if she's singing about some shitty situation.

B-Side's "Ms. Everything" has a squashed down guitar tone like that stretched reverb rubber band finally collapsed. This one gets far away from that garage prom sound and opens up into back and forth straight huge pop punk. Morgan lets go a little more in yelps at the end of her verses but still absolutely meaning business. I can't get over her crazy natural talent, like Karen O, a riveting personality in every lyric while those No Age sounding thick guitar layers plow ahead. This drops out to just a handclap and a cappella verses from Morgan as if you weren't already sure this all revolves around her.

On purple bruise colored vinyl, sold out from Certified PR, get this from the band's bandcamp page direct, deservedly not many left.

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