The Gore Gore Girls

Laura Marrich
3 min read
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Thursday, Oct. 13; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over): Detroit doesn't really exist any more. It's a ghost town. Go Downtown sometime and you'll see what I mean. There are no people—just row after row of decaying tract housing, auto part graveyards and factories that produce, well, nothing. But as the American auto industry sputters, shudders and shimmies into a coma, it childrens are emerging out of the vapors at night; taking that same, sad dance and making it their own. Making it alive.

Now we're in the midst of a bonafide Detroit invasion, and Michigan is erupting with white-hot retro rock outfits. Their names read like a rap sheet of girl gangs from the '60s: The Sirens, The Demolition Doll Rods and The Riots, The Hard Lessons, The Paybacks and The Sights, The Cyril Lords, The Detroit Cobras, and, sure enough, The White Stripes are in there, too.

Well, here's another one for you—The Gore Gore Girls. Only these guys (actually, three girls and a guy) have been tearing the roof off the whole scene since 1996. Amy Surdu is the songwriting and vocal guts of the operation, leading the charge with a commanding voice that recalls The Runaways or maybe Grace Slick on less acid. She and Marlene Hammerle take turns on lead and rhythm guitar. You can tell these girls are tone junkies. Only they've spent so much time listening to old records that it's warped their ears into rattle-seeking treble and fuzz-boxes. Drummer-girl Nicky Styxx sets it all off with satisfying, surf-style percussion and Nick Detroit is on bass.

What the Gore Gore Girls do is riff-roaring rock ’n' roll, tinted with a big lipstick kiss from Motown. Their sound is lo-fi and lubricated with exhaust fumes—a nod to the blue-collar musicians that helped to make the Motor City famous twice over (on the auto lines by day, in the studio by night). And despite their tough-girl attitude, their seven-song EP, 7×4, is quite a lot of fun. There's classic, down-to-business Motor City rawk, rollicking high school hijinks and girly, anthemic doo-wop. There's even an incense-licked rendition of a 1966 Treez song (“You Lied To Me”) that might actually glow fluorescent under a black light. Just get used to the idea. You're about to get your ass beat down by a bunch of girls—and you're gonna like it, too.

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