Sabrina is Not in This Chat, Pinky Pinky And Spare Parts for Broken Hearts At Space 15Twenty, Friday April 7th 2017
Space 15 Twenty and Play like a Girl – a women powered collective that creates a safe place for women to connect, create and prosper – were hosting another girl empowering event on Friday night and each of the three bands, three ‘local heroes’, performed a short but impressive set from 7 to 9 pm inside the cozy courtyard.
Sabrina is Not in This Chat may have a sort of frivolous moniker, but there was nothing superficial about the music of these three young girls. Olivia DeBonis on vocals and guitar, Siena LaMere on drums and Maddie Calderon on vocals and bass – although bass and guitar were exchanged at one point, just like the Girlpool duo does it – played ferocious and inventive music with borderline dissonance, spiced up by a sort of punk aggression and intriguing lyrics. They had epic and powerful bass lines but also abrupt accelerations all set long, it was as if they had come up with a sort of oblique punk, with interesting noisy distortions, as they were sounding almost jazzy, in an almost Black-Flag-inspiration élan, reinforced by Olivia DeBonis’ plaintive to morose vocals. I haven’t found much about them and their interesting sound on the internet, they only played a few shows at LA punk heaven, the Smell, but beside this, Sabrina is definitively not in the chat yet!!
When I saw the next group, Pinky Pinky, taking the stage, I immediately remembered seeing them at the Teragram a few weeks ago, when they opened for Hanni El Khatib,… and, as a mater of fact Hanni was in the attendance when they played! I was happy to see them again because they have an interesting sweet bluesy sound and at the Teragram, the singer and drummer Anastasia Sanchez was hiding her pretty face behind her drums all set long, and that’s was shame, however her dark and powerful howl did not stay unnoticed. The very young trio (two of them are still in high school) has a look, a bit retro thrift-shop look, and they have a sound, a mix of garage surf-rock, soul-blues with a touch a doo-wop. They played far apart, Eva Chambers on bass on the extreme right and Isabelle Fields on guitar on the other side, while Anastasia Sanchez on drums was leading the show with her amazing soulful voice, which is a sort of Janis Joplin-meets-Corin-Tucker, if this makes any sense. Isabelle Fields’ guitar became very inventive and their overall vibe was a psychedelic blues mixing girl-power with many familiar-sounding parts. According to what I have read, the trio befriended Nathan Cabrera, a creative collaborator of El Khatib, who also noticed the band… so I am guessing that his label Innovative Leisure is releasing Pinky Pinky’s upcoming EP, which will be out on April 21st for Record Store Day.
Mikey Vallejo, the drummer of the next band, may have been the only man of the night but Spare Parts for Broken Hearts was once again led by a woman, the fierce Sarah Green. They were by far the most arena-rock act of the night, blasting a high-energy and dark explosion of fuzzy guitars and pounding drums with Green’s angry and hurting vocals. They reached some real loudness and melodic heaviness with banging hair and intense fuzz haunted by her long sad howls, while quieter parts were building anticipation before another sonic outburst. The loudness of their sound was matching her shriek as if she was a female Chris Cornell or Brandon Boyd. You could feel it during their entire set of mournful and desolated soundscapes, but on their last song, they reached true metal-level intensity, with heavy riffs building a wall of sound, not even capable of masking Sarah Green’s emotional and melodic scream. The courtyard of Space 15Twenty was obviously way too small to contain this massive sound.
I am not sure shoppers around the block knew about this free 3-band concert, but they unavoidably heard the music, and if they decided to venture in the courtyard, they probably got very surprised by two things, first by the music which sounded so good, then by the age of these girls who were all so young!