A Uniquely Pervis Perspective
Does it matter, in the critical/theoretical, women-in-rock-think-piece sense, that Dallas' Pervis is fronted by two women? It's hard to tell from their four song eponymous EP -- I can't figure whether that "Fuck you / Leave me alone" line, from the sociopathic "Some People," was written from the Uniquely Female Perspective; "Jaegermeister" also seems to be written from a sexually indeterminate point of view. On the other hand, "Elle" seems to be about a woman lead singers/songwriters Rachael Strauss and Christina Harrison know pretty well.
What certainly does matter is energy and angle of attack. (The band prefers the description "fast blues-based hard-core stomp rock with punk leanings." Whatever.) Strauss and Harrison's vocal delivery is equal parts L7 and early Run-D.M.C., tossing lines and words at each other in a game of fast-pitch verbal bombardment. Drummer Harden Harrison, Christina's betrothed and formerly of Dallas punk legend Rigor Mortis, pushes the beat hard, as any good punk/thrash drummer should, and bassist Les Bewley adds a propulsive rumble. Eric Schmidt's tightly coiled guitar lines occasionally loosen, letting him stretch within the bounds of the requisite 3:20-and-out song format. The music is reminiscent of the Misfits, a faster Jane's Addiction (especially on Schmidt's finely picked intros and solos) and maybe Anthrax, but not slavishly duplicative of any of them. Pervis sounds a lot like Stockholm punks Enola Gay on that band's obscure 1982 class resentment anthem "Doda Jar," but there's absolutely no real reason you (or I, for that matter) should know that, even if you do know Swedish.
Judging from the band's hometown press, Pervis puts on a great show, replete with moshing, stage diving and the two (admittedly quite attractive) lead singers in either short shorts or micro-minis. If you're thinking of going out to look for the Uniquely Female Perspective, it's probably a safer bet to stay at home and listen to Hole or Liz Phair, or X-Ray Spex or the Raincoats, for that matter. Give Pervis a shot, though, if you're in the mood for high-speed rock and roll that happens to be sung by two women.
-- Peter Kelly
Pervis headlines a lineup of four bands starting at 10 p.m., Saturday, December 10 at the Urban Art Bar. Tickets cost $6. Call 526-8588 for info.
*Delbert McClinton at Rockefeller's, Friday, December 9
*Flaming Lips at the AstroArena, Saturday, December 10
*Junior Brown at Blanco's, Saturday, December 10
*C.C. Adcock at the Velvet Elvis, Saturday, December 10
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.