It’s almost as if Starcrawler read the list of how to be a ’60s American garage rock band. Loud-ass lead guitarist with much skill and many exciting poses? Check. Smokin’ rock and roll rhythm section of over-amped electric bass and a drummer who kicks like artillery? Check. Impossibly skinny and utterly fearless front person? Got that, too. In Starcrawler’s case, it’s a woman named Arrow de Wilde. She’s a student of the craft of making frenzy, but she also brings something no one else in her generation has to the small stages Starcrawler gets booked to perform on: anxiety. When she walks around in an audience, in her underwear, moaning “Are you what I want,” you see alarm, and not lust, in her chosen man-victims’ faces.
Starcrawler at Actress & Bishop, Birmingham, U.K., November 4th 2017
- Thursday, December 14, 2017, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
Starcrawler is what the summer of 1966 sounded like. After English bands had fully inoculated the American pop music audience with their versions of our music, suddenly, garage bands were the norm all across the country. It was a good time to be young. Every teenaged electric guitarist made that one big discovery that would set the hook for life. Call it the power chord. No — make that two big discoveries: the power chord and distortion. Think “You Really Got Me,” by the Kinks. Or, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Power chords are easy to play. You feel them in your pelvis. They are the blueprint for metal and punk. Blues. Thrash. You name it.
This band Starcrawler is so new, their debut album won’t be released until sometime next year. Most members are just out of high school; De Wilde herself graduated this year. They got positive rock-press attention based on a couple of singles they released after forming in 2014. Elton John is said to like them. And what’s more, Starcrawler is part of the tattered Los Angeles music scene’s return to glory. Make the sign of the horns.
The Touchies also perform.