The Applicators Hole in the Wall, Thursday 14 Awhile back, a friend noted that latter-day punkers are like Civil War re-enactors. They put on the clothes, go through all the motions, and don't miss a trick, with the full knowledge that it was all done before, and quite awhile back at that. Be that as it may, Austin's Applicators just flat git after it, Eighties style. They walk the tightrope between chaos and order, melodicism and noise, and they do it damn fast and hard. Even when a squall of feedback threatened to overcome their mix, they were completely undaunted and kept on pounding away. The band's rhythm section keeps it together through runaway tempos, with a bass player who locks into the drummer's flailings like a half-starved pit bull on a steak. The guitar player never slips either, a look of intense concentration on her face; a couple of feeble solos were more than matched by her determined rhythm playing. The singer is the band's centerpiece, of course, with coy over-the-shoulder glances and charm to burn while screaming her brains out. Even this geriatric-ward punker found himself nodding and shaking like a palsied Ramone. Too bad it was a rather early crowd; after a half-dozen more Lone Stars apiece, they could have been bouncing around the floor like berserk pool balls. There have been some great all-female bands in the past and other ones who were no more than marginal, hoping for sex appeal to do the heavy lifting for them. In the Applicators' case, they can hold their own with any Eighties-style punkers and still do it with allure. Girls kick ass, indeed.
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