“Only duct tape and whatever substance comes to hand holds these scifi dumb punk songs together… Produced on a dime, it’s strip thin and loose, it’s a throwback to all types of uber-cool sub genres for those who love cheap punk and pleasures.”
Somewhere in a yet unmade cult cartoon comic strip there’s a lake of primordial ooze. From the bubble and squeak of the muck and the slime comes the first man and girl on the planet; He’s In a blueprint of black skinny jeans with a mess of wild hair and confusion. She got a bouffant that’s perfectly formed and a set of wide rimmed white sunglasses. Dazed and confounded, slime drenched and stupefied, they look at the green soup for meaning… they head to the ooze and yank out from its depths the first caveman guitar and a something to hit, and that’s how Teenage Cavegirl begin.
Not much has changed since those imagined beginnings, they’re still wrought and they’re primal and thin. Only duct tape and whatever substance comes to hand holds these scifi dumb punk songs together. He lashes out with a discordant fuzz that buzzes and chugs like a beehive, she beats the drums like the first ever human to strike on a dried mammal hide. Who needs a kit when a floor tom and snare gives you everything you need to play with? And who needs a melody when holler and screech gives off all if the ‘tude you could want…
The high school brat drama of ‘No Good-So Bad’s “I know you’re no good /But I want you so bad” and ‘Get Bent!’s “You’re such a total drag/ You make me wanna gag” ramps up and vamps up that 60s Shangri-Las bad boy and bad grrrl cool essence. Elsewhere the schlock scifi hammer-horrors down hard just in case you forgot the key imagery; ‘Space Girl’, ‘Area 54’, just the song titles wrap up the camp other-worldness of forgotten black and white monster movies. It’s a new dodgy-coloured remaster, updated, half vivid and sketchy.
Away from the Cavegirl’s lemon-honey soaked larynx, guitar breaks in ‘Devil Boy’ and ‘Leavin Here’ cast the world-to-see influences back to swamp ‘n’ roll greats. Link Wray and Hasil Adkins shine in clean licks before the mass-beehive onslaughts cut through. Poison Ivy‘s jitter-tremolo makes a show at the end of ‘Sheena Is A Trash-Bopper‘ and rips all the way through ‘Rat Fink’. The roots of the former is easy, 70’s New York and the punk and the rush that spat out the worshipped Ramones. Is the latter an ode to Alien Sex Fiend and the Vince Ripper shows that I used to share stages and gigs with? If it is I’m impressed by cross the pond trip from UK to US, if it’s not it’s a happy coincidence.
We run through 10 songs in under 22 minutes, we whirl through the snaps and the howls. The structure and chemistry remains the same until we get to the very last track.
‘Leavin Here’ gives the Caveman a chance on the mic and it shakes it up more than you’d think. With her kill-thrill-shrill vocals out of the mix, there’s a chance for new textures and tones. It’s replaced by straight out of Detroit garage voice that’s retro distorted and distant (just for reference, they’re straight of Austin). And more than the switch on the microphone duties, those drums get more complex and tribal. Instead of being simply pace-maker, time-keeper, they beat with a prowess and roll. I guess freed from the split of attention, she’s able to focus and tear through the skins with a new undivided devotion. Keep shaking it up Teenage Cavegirl, things can stray while they still stay the same.
Produced on a dime, it’s strip thin and loose, it’s a throwback to all types of uber-cool sub genres for those who love cheap punk and pleasures. And I mean that in Elvira‘s “bad means good, as in baaad” way so take and consume as a compliment.
Teenage Cavegirl’s new album ‘Candy Cigarettes’ is out now, available on vinyl and download.
Find my pick of theses tracks and others from Rats on the Run featured artists right here on Rats On Run Radio.