HØUNDS, GRÜN WASSER, Kate Mo$$, Girl Pusher At The Hi Hat, Sunday August 13th 2017
I go to all kinds of shows, big and small, but of course my favorite are the small ones, the underground culture is fascinating and discovering young artists before they play large venues always sounds like a privilege. You certainly can’t call the shows hosted by the Hi Hat underground, after all, the Highland Park venue is becoming a well-known club, but this last Sunday night line-up was certainly not the type you would expect everywhere. Hosted by Minty Boi Presents, the evening featured HØUNDS, GRÜN WASSER, Kate mo$$ and Girl Pusher, not your typical lineup but a gig which was part of Girl Pusher’s tour, continuing on the east coast in August.
If you wanted to be pushed, shocked, intrigued and may be a bit offended, you should have come to the Hi Hat on Sunday night, where all the cool kids moshed and stage-dived past midnight.
First HØUNDS opened the night without stepping a foot on stage, but rather wandering in the middle of the crowd like a rocket man abandoned by his ship and lost in space. He was making the most chaotic dance moves like a lost particle, while producing dark electronic noisy fuzz which seemed to be coming from an equipment attached around his belt or neck, something which looked like a more sophisticated Simon Says game. But I am not sure, it was dark and the whole thing looked very mysterious with moments of pure terror and visions of a black monolith with a Ligeti-esque soundtrack revisited by a cyber-electronica-freak. Of course, it sounded totally experimental and even transcendental, from harsh noise to industrial beats and deafening distortion, the entire set was the kind of thing to make you scratch your head afterward, thinking, ‘what did I just see?’ I say this in a good way, because good art always exists for this reason.
The next band, the Chicago-based GRÜN WASSER, was also an experimental dark electronica fronted by a woman, who was providing ghostly vocals to cold icy industrial sounds, produced by her only bandmate standing behind a computer and electronics. They started with ravaging harsh fuzzy beats and her lament voice completely lost in this green noise.. it was part aggressive, past nihilistic and terribly anguished. Then the melodies surfaced with a distressed mood going into a sort of Massive Attack territory. In their bio, they wrote that they stand ‘in solidarity with the rights and freedoms of all people who have been disenfranchised by the negligent powers of society’, and she effectively took a break during the set to tell us about making a priority for minorities of all kinds. Her plaintive murmur morphed into a creepy groan, as she ventured through the crowd, icing the place around her.
From cold to very hot, this could have been the weather change with the next act Kate mo$$, who are probably too cool for Facebook! I had seen them before, opening for Ho99o9 at the Echoplex in May, but what they did on Sunday night was a bit different, less bloody, a bit less violent and spectacular, but still really disturbing and offensive. They started a brutal mosh pit and some people from behind the stage started stage diving at any random moment. They are actually an aggressive shock hip-hop-rap-punk band using violence and sex as expression of our times… Women got beaten, women got used for sex? What’s new? The very provocative girl (who was wearing devil horns by the way) was constantly kneeling down or begging her very aggressive partner and singer, who was screaming his gnarl over dissonance and distorted industrial noise. The beats were provided by a real drummer though, and the result was as funny as it sounded offensive. She looked as battered and abused as you can imagine, but was constantly asking for more of his heinous spit and if you happen to take a look at their Instagram page, it sure seems like an endorsement for battering women and using harsh drugs. But come on, you are not one of these people who think art should be moral right? If art reflects our times, Kate mo$$ may be the scary mirror of what we have become as a society. Ironically, he was wearing a ‘All Nazis must die’ shirt… she ended shirtless and braless, while pushing a few horror-movie screams.
Girl Pusher was headlining, and frontgirl Gabby Guiliano, wearing a DIY ‘Fuck White Supremacy’ shirt, knew how to lead the show. She entered on stage with a loud ‘looking for police officers to kill’ in repeat, and the dynamism and energy of a cheerleader-from-hell, and she didn’t slow down a bit from this moment. With Jarrod Hine, her only bandmate once again on drums, she raised hell like a new generation of riot grrrl, screaming and jumping, as the harsh sound, that she qualifies of ‘cyber punk’, destroyed the room and installed instant terror and joy on the faces of kids, who were moshing harder and harder. As usual, I was standing on the corner of the stage, trying to make sense of the chaos created by this athletic blonde and their creepy techno-punk sound, which often sounded like a cyber attack fueled by the scream of women who gets her throat cut open. On stage, she was wearing high socks and shorts, looking like she was attending a sport event, but she also had a clown makeup and was repeatedly screaming at the top of her lungs. Their last song, which sounded very poppy bouncy, stood out of the rest, and as I expected it was a cover, a song by Alice Deejay (‘Better Off Alone’) a pure electronic tune and a curious crowd pleaser among this insane mayhem.
One thing is sure, this girl pusher pushes boundaries and genres, with a music which has been described as ‘nihilist millennial electronic hardcore from Hollywood’, but again, this could almost have qualified any band that played this night.
You can check Girl Pusher and Kate mo$$ during one of these upcoming shows:
August 16 @All Night Diner (Philly): Nah, Container, Weather, Mike, Girl pusher
August 17 Minty Boi presents @Trans-Pecos (Brooklyn): Girl Pusher, Deli Girls, Machine Girl, god’s Wisdom, Kate mo$$
August 18 Minty Boi Presents @Heck (Brooklyn): Tender Cruncher, Girl Pusher, Deli Girls, DreamCrusher, Kate mo$$
August 19 Minty Boi Present @Make Out Point (Boston): Trim, Cyber bully, Father Lemon, Girl Pusher, Kate mo$$
August 20 Minty Boi Presents @House show (providence): Lucy, God’s Wisdom, DJ Resign, Girl Pusher, Kate mo$$
August 21 Minty Boi x Tinybox presents: Crunch house (Connecticut): Reduction Plan, Lasuje x hedonist, Girl Pusher