Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Killola at the Studio at Webster Hall 3/30/10

For a girl who's appeared on the Cosby Show and King of Queens, Lisa Rieffel is surprising vulgar. Upon taking the Studio at Webster Hall stage Tuesday night with her band Killola, she raised her middle fingers high. She may have lowered them to sing, but for the next sixty minutes they stayed up in spirit.

Live, Killola pays winking homage to the snot-nosed brats of early punk. On record the band’s garage-pop tunes are carefully constructed rock and roll throwbacks, but on stage self-awareness vanishes. The album giveaways and elaborately conceived videos can preach the music’s merits, but only in person does the effect of shoving an audience member’s face in your crotch really come off.

With the aid of a hired-gun keyboard player, the quartet thundered out renditions of their garage-pop tunes far grimier than their polished recordings. The music sounded like it was coming from a tin can and the band played like they were trying to be heard over beer pong games at a frat party.

With song titles like “I Wanna See Your Dick” though, sonic nuance may not be the goal. Sure, the Motown swing of their tunes got lost in the racket, but it’s tough to focus on singing when you’re writhing around on the floor or dangling upside down from a water pipe.

When the band closed the show with a wonderfully sloppy cover of “Hey Mickey,” an overly enthusiastic audience member hopped onstage to engage in antics too raunchy to describe without getting this blog flagged by Google. Eventually Rieffel gently told her to settle down. Even crotch-shovers have a limit.

Photos by L.R. Adams (via Quirky NY Chick)

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