With their lo-fi blankets of noise, scratchy production values and three- chord, booze-informed songs, tonight's gig from Dayton, Ohio's The Amps has all the feel of stumbling in on band practice in a suburban garage. Between swigs of beer and numerous false starts, they bang and crash through a perfunctory set taken from record-as-you-go album Pacer. An audience of unwashed adolescents shoulder-surf and pogo to a series of energetic tracks which barely hit the two-minute mark, egged on by the exaggerated grimaces of asexual anti-heroine Deal. The shambolic post-punkiness of Deal's latest project is in direct contrast to the clearer, cleaner sounds of the Breeders. But this, a sort of stop-gap measure until sister and Breeders' guitarist Kelly is released from bail for heroin trafficking, has a rawness deceptive in its simplicity. Where the mumbled vocals and churning guitar slabs of "Empty Glasses" ("This is a love song") descend into comic atonality, other songs - notably "She's a Girl", "Bragging Party" and "Dedicated" - showcase Deal's sugary voice and guitar playing to full effect. They might lack the polish of the Pixies and the punch of the Breeders, but the Amps' anything-goes sensibility fulfilled their intention. We left confused, disarmed, but charmed all the same.Reuse content
As one of America's premiere rock figureheads, Kim Deal has been around long enough to permit a bit of self-indulgence. Having never made her penchant for drink and drugs a secret, she has managed to combine a punk aesthetic with quality rock values. Way before Courtney Love began to glamorise self-destruction, Deal decided simply to get on with it.