Add slappy reverb to furiously distorted power chords, couple it with melancholic lyrics about heartbreak and sweet doo-wop inspired choruses, and you get SadGirl. The LA trio played to a packed house last Friday at the Observatory in Santa Ana, and their performance did not disappoint.
SadGirl’s music evokes images of vibrant Hawaiian shirts spattered with blood, or of a Satanic ritual on a sunlit California beach. The sound is dark, yet strangely inviting––sort of like the score for a Quentin Tarantino movie. Key to their success is their ability to blend disparate styles with ease. You can’t pigeonhole them as a neo-surf rock band, an indie–punk band, or anything else because their songs explore a variety of influences.
“When you play music, you just make music,” Misha Lindes, SadGirl’s singer and guitarist, told the Weekly. “It’s whatever you’re into in that moment, and sometimes your influences come out a bit more strong, and sometimes it does diverge.”
The 1950’s–esque “souldies” sound of “Breakfast is Over” (the opening track on their 2015 EP Vol. One) is completely different from the garage rock sound in Vol. Two’s opening track, “Penelope’s Leg”. And both are completely different from Vol. Three’s “Someone Else’s Skin”, a track influenced by bands like The Damned and proto–punk bands like The Stooges.
“The idea was to do this more proto–punk song that had a bit more grit to it,” Lindes says. “When you’re playing music, you sort of feel the need to tread a bit more territory to see what sticks, to see where you feel comfortable, and to see what feels like home.”
Check out their music video for Norma and Jessica, featuring Danny Trejo
Also, big up’s to SadGirl’s opening bands on Friday: Tropa Magica, The Hurricanes, and Jasper Bones.
Despite a magnetic performance from Tropa Magica––who brought the inner foo out of everyone in the crowd by playing a Foos Gone Wild inspired rendition of the X-Files theme song and reminding us to “saca la bolsita”––the best opening performance came from SantAna locals, The Hurricanes. Some highlights from their performance include: keyboardist Jesus Salas standing on top of his keyboard mid–song, then promptly falling on his ass; vocalist Roach Sanchez stage diving into a swarming mosh; and the boys slamming a few Modelos on stage. For a second, it looked like the seething mosh of jean jacketed, Pro Club t–shirt wearing, slicked–up pompadour having kids in the crowd were going to riot because of the Hurricanes furious music. I even got a tooth knocked loose after catching an elbow in the mosh. But, in the end, it was just a good time with great music.
P.S. If you’re reading this, guy who knocked my tooth loose, my eight year–old sister hits harder than you.