Looking for all the world like a young ex-Runaways lead singer Cherie Currie (minus the lingerie) and sounding like Kathleen Hanna, Jemina Pearl didn't hesitate to scream her heart out in front of a small but energetic crowd at the Mink last night. Aftermath knew she'd be awesome - we were familiar with her work in Be Your Own Pet - but we weren't prepared for Houston's Magic Marmalade, soon to be renamed The Examples, whose musical inspiration seems to run the gamut from Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath to Link Wray and The Sonics.
First act Pedro Tijerina of Springfield Riots seemed an uneven choice to open the show. He hopped on stage with only his guitar and began singing at top volume without even an introduction, startling Aftermath, who was looking away from the stage. His music was good - moody, folksy songs about cocaine and relationships, but he seemed stage-shy, barely uttering his name after a few songs. After his gig Aftermath heard him tell someone in the crowd, "I'm not very good at guitar."
Between Tijerina and the eclecticism of Magic Marmalade it felt like a Leave Your Genre @ The Door night. Drummer James Ashworth was working so hard he has to shed his shirt, and singer Josh Blevins' hiccupy howl reminded Aftermath of Pelle Almqvist of The Hives. They played varied music but maintained a uniform sound, and even managed to recruit a tambourine player from the growing crowd before covering "Strychnine" by garage-rock mainstays The Sonics.
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Jemina Pearl took the stage with repeated requests to turn the sound up in both the amps and the monitors. There's been some talk online that her solo break from Be Your Own Pet was disappointing, but Aftermath couldn't hear much of a difference in her current iteration - maybe that's the disappointment. Her new album leans heavily on punk, new wave and Pearl, hobbled by a broken toe in a walking cast still managed to throw herself all over the stage, into the drums and onto the floor. She sang in her baby-girl squeal while simultaneously spitting from the stage and pretty much won the hearts of everyone there, including Aftermath and Aftermath's photog.
Pearl was born in 1987 and has been making this kind of music since at least the age of 16. If she's the next wave of lady rockers, we'll gladly take her over Miley Cyrus any day.
For more photos from the concert, check out our slideshow.