Material Girls only come out at night. The Atlanta sextet indulge in glam and goth while maintaining a percussive no wave edge on their new album Leather. It’s a pointed balance, but the combination comes naturally for these gutter dwelling creatures who cut their teeth on the sweaty Atlanta nightlife, and is enough to summon the ghosts of CBGB and Andy Warhol. The 8 song record explodes with post-modern sleaze and over the course of 30 minutes, the band ride a wave of malaise towards a decrepit paradise.
After a promising 4 song EP and a year spent touring, including a few dates supporting the B-52s’ Cindy Wilson, the gang is sharper than ever thanks to the addition of guitarist Robbie Rapp (Muuy Biien) and bassist Meghan Dowlen. The Siouxsie-inspired shrieks of Dowlen are a particularly sharp dagger in the Material Girls arsenal, which alternates between squalling psychedelia and apocalyptic post-punk. Echoes of Richard Hell and Pere Ubu flow through nihilistic lyrics, uncaged performances, and inventive riffs.
Leather is a study in contrasts, an illustration of Material Girls ability to deconstruct the tired tropes of punk while pushing DIY music to new heights of zoned in, drugged out chaos. On the surface, this experiment is artistic and abstract, but the visceral energy of Material Girls leaves no room for hazy intellectualism. They vomit on expectation with makeup smeared faces, toying with desire, and keeping the listener tied up in Leather.