After being blown away by Garter Shake during Ladyfest on Saturday, I knew I had to see them again as soon as possible. Luckily I did not have to wait long, as they had a show booked at Howlers on Thursday with NYC punk rockers Jigsaw Youth and newish locals Aloe, which includes members of Brazilian Wax and The Fuckies.
Garter Shake’s set was pretty much the same as what they played at Ladyfest, but I enjoyed it then and I enjoyed it again. They kicked off with “Alpha Creeps” which is directed towards Donald Trump (they introduced the song by saying, “we just want to send a big fuck you out to him.”) and continued on with their feminism-infused pop rock. I was also thrilled that they included their cover of Tacocat’s Crimson Wave again; this time I was smart enough to get a video.
Next up was Jigsaw Youth, hailing from New York City. I’m not entirely sure how old these ladies are, but they certainly would not look out of place in my sixth period Latin 4 class. Despite their apparent youth, however, they absolutely ripped. They established their presence by opening up with a Bikini Kill cover (from whom they presumably took their name), then kept up the same energy throughout the rest of their set. Lead vocalist Maria Alvarez has the perfect riot grrrl voice, gritty and brash, while guitarist Nastacha Beck and drummer Alex Dmytrow brought a similar intensity.
Most of the songs they played were off of their recently released album Americaʻs Sweethearts. There was a good bit of variation in terms of sound; some grunge, some punk, a surf rock song, and the Green Day-reminiscent “Flirting.” They included some audience participation with the song “House,” encouraging the crowd to shout SCUM BAG; we were more than happy to oblige. I thought they absolutely killed it, and I can’t wait to see how their sound evolves over time. Definitely keep an eye out for them.
Last up was recently formed Aloe, playing their third show. This group includes Jen Sabol (of Brazilian Wax) on rhythm guitar/vocals, Racheal Green (of The Fuckies) on lead guitar/vocals, Sam Gorsuch on drums, and Doug Harshberger on bass. This group had a darker grungy punk vibe, although when I spoke to them after the fact they said they were still in the process of defining their sound. I thought they sounded pretty great, so I’m looking forward to see where they take things. Plus they have a song about Bob Ross; how can you go wrong with that?
And you know what else is cool? Of the eleven musicians that played tonight, only two were men. I have nothing against guys, but it’s a refreshing change from the typical shows consisting of dudes, dudes, and more dudes. More of this, please! Throw in the, well, youth, of Jigsaw Youth and the future of punk is looking pretty damn bright. See you at a show!