Featuring current and former members of Concord America, Chief Scout, Saint Pé, and Slang, newcomers MATERIAL GIRLS arrive with high expectations and some degree of stylistic preconceptions, which the band deftly thwarts. I half expected the group’s first single to lean towards the spirited garage rock of Concord America or Chief Scout; instead, the band travels down a much darker and libidinous post-punk path. It’s not an entirely left-field turn; if anything it sounds like a messier, more carnal version of Slang, but there’s something in the song’s swirling black waters that makes you want to dive in head first.
The band recently released “Drained” on a 7″ via custom lathe cut label Funky Frankenstein, but this is the first time the track has been made available for streaming online. According to the little information provided to us, MATERIAL GIRLS are a group who intend to work outside of social media, so as far as we know this article marks the band’s sole presence on the web outside of a SoundCloud profile that currently sits empty. This leaves us with just the music, which sways and thrusts with lurid passion and eerie nocturnal ambience that fans of Nick Cave or Tom Waits should find pleasing. There are a lot of layers here to unravel — the ghostly din of distant pianos, the punch-drunk stumble of saxophones to name but two — but in the end it’s the band’s swaggering theatrics that make it all work. As first impressions go, this one is startlingly good.
MATERIAL GIRLS will perform tonight at 529 in support of Shampoo. Athens rockers Deep State play first. Doors open at 9 p.m. The show is being put on in cooperation with the non-profit Notes for Notes who will be accepting donations of new or used music instruments. 21+ to enter.