April 15, 2014

EP: Bad Canoes - Sisterhood is Powerful

Dark absurdity rules on Bad Canoe's Sisterhood is Powerful EP.

I used to work in a weird brunch restaurant, and when my friends and I weren't slinging plates of huevos rancheros or making more coffee, we were choosing music. Near the end of super busy shifts, when we'd all be running purely on caffeine and mimosas, I always liked playing crazy albums. Usually I'd pick something by Gravy Train!!!!, and now I'm wishing I could've picked Bad Canoes' Sisterhood Is Powerful.

Nobody in Bad Canoes plays guitar. Dawn plays drums, Kate plays keys, Kristina plays bass, and Marissa sings. That's Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females. Not shredding, just singing. Whether it's a scream or her signature vibrato wail, Marissa's voice heightens the urgency of each song on Sisterhood Is Powerful, all of which already embody a certain off-kilter vibe instrumentally and a dark absurdity lyrically. There's "Nectar of the Gods," which glorifies ambrosia salad and sounds like a fuck-you to health and beauty as it's advertised in magazines. There's "Orthopedic Pillow," which immediately cracks open feelings of worthlessness by making them ridiculous with lyrics like: "Maybe I am nothing more than an extra-special sandwich." Perhaps this sense of humor makes feeling like shit slightly more bearable. And there's my favorite, "D'arcy's Boots," a tribute to mall goths. Bad Canoes crank out seven songs in just under nine minutes, and the very first one, the title track, acts like a manifesto. "The electric code of sisterhood runs swiftly through their veins, and now our cultural landscape will never be the same." Perhaps Bad Canoes are reminding us that even when life seems way too weird, there is always lady solidarity.


Listen to Bad Canoes on bandcamp.

Caroline Rayner, who likes getting tattoos and cutting up old magazines and driving long distances and baking cookies. She also writes things for Tiny Mix Tapes and, when she remembers, her blog.