MONSTER PUSSY, LOGAN GREENE AND THE BRICKS, THE GENTLEMEN OF MONSTER ISLAND
Sunday, June 27
If you've ever been to a rock show in Tucson that was not motivated by profit, you might recognize the singer of the band Monster Pussy.
As the king of live-music support in Tucson, Mullarkey dances in front of the stage at every performance he attends—sometimes more than one show a day. The man exudes a level of innocent energy that rivals a preschool at recess. As an aging punk rocker, I cannot imagine where his energy and enthusiasm comes from.
But don't feel as if you have to go see his band just because he saw your band once. See his band because it's one of the most inspiring groups to come around in a while.
Monster Pussy's songs incorporate minimalist rock drumming and undistorted guitar riffs. Their sound combines simple, three-chord melodies with the stripped rhythm of early riot grrrl bands like Bratmobile. Mullarkey belts out songs in a snotty vocal style, delivering comical lyrics that are low on the obligatory sarcasm that often makes punk tiresome. The lyrics read more like stream-of-consciousness poetry examining the frustrations of living simple for the sake of punk rock. "Invite Me (To Your All-Girl Party)" and "Four String No Show," a song explaining why the band doesn't have a bass player, stand out among a repertoire of droll head-nodders.
Logan Greene and the Bricks followed with roots-influenced rock sped up in the vein of late-'70s Los Angeles punk bands. While the band seems primarily motivated by Greene's excellent songwriting, a smoking rhythm section framed the songs nicely.
The Gentlemen of Monster Island wrapped up the show with a righteous version of late-'80s, Dischord-style post-punk—a period of music that has been somewhat untapped since, and on which the band faithfully expounds.
The spirit of punk rock endures in small pockets at venues like Skrappy's. Three bands got up and rocked to about 30 people. The singers talked to the audience and promoted other people's shows. The audience cared.
I used to automatically assume that I had something in common with anyone wearing a punk-rock T-shirt. That doesn't work anymore, but Sunday night reminded me of why I once felt that way.