Dirt City Archives
Here Comes Trouble
The Eyeliners vs. Psychodrama
By Captain America
Despite the inevitable dirty old men in the audience, The Eyeliners didn’t draw attention to gender. Sisters Gel, Lisa and Laura debuted as Psychodrama, certainly not a name that screams “girl band!” Nor did they emulate the pandering jailbait image that the girls of The Donnas milked successfully well into their 20s. There were no baby doll dresses or torn fishnets. Instead they wore tees, hoodies and high-top Chuck Taylors. All Psychodrama wanted was to rock out and have fun.
By 1995, Burque was re-energized by an explosion of local punk bands. Psychodrama not only jumped aboard but propelled the excitement. Besides the Downtown clubs, the girls gigged at every all-ages spot available. There were lots more then: Dropout Records, Back Door Music, El Place, Scottie’s Guitar Shop, Fred’s Bread & Bagel and Mind Over Matter, to name a few.
With an assist from Scott Parsons (BigDamnCrazyWeight) the self-recorded, self-released “Vivid” 7-inch debuted in 1995 to an enthusiastic reception. Comparisons to the Ramones appeared immediately. While that may be true in spirit, the sound was really closer to Lookout! Records’ house style as heard from, say, Screeching Weasel. It was pop-punk, but with a nice raw bite.
Confidential, a full-length for notorious girl band geek Long Gone John on his Sympathy For the Record Industry label, was released in 1997. Now Gel (guitar), Lisa (bass) and Laura (drums/vocals) were known as The Eyeliners, a nod to gender but with the attitude of, Yeah, we’re girls. So what?
2004: The Eyeliners were mainstays on the Warped Tour. The hometown shows had all but stopped as the band put its efforts into touring with the likes of Social Distortion and recording with Joan Jett. Typically, as success came, the local scenester psychodrama bitching started—none of it worth repeating. All I whined about was the slow trickle of releases and the succession of drummers substituting for Laura so she could concentrate on fronting the band.
By then, much of the local crowd for garage music had drained away. We were all drowning in the Great Emo Deluge of the early 2000s, and somehow everyone decided that metal was punk. It was grim. Although we had fewer chances to hear them, the girls were a bright spot in the local scene. It’s been just over five years since the last New Mexico gig. While no promises were ever made, we haven’t heard the last of The Eyeliners yet.
Calvin Appleberry • solo piano at Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse
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