I saw Purple perform live recently and was blown away by their relentless energy and bombastic garage rock. So I was pretty happy to find their video for "Leche Loco," which is so new I was only the fourth or fifth person to "like" it on YouTube.
I had a watch party of three later that evening with my son and a friend, Justin Paxton, from the band Two Buck Drunks. We tried to pinpoint some Purple influences, and heard some Blood Brothers, CKY, bygone locals the JonBenet, and most definitely Kathleen Hanna when the drummer sang. Her name, coincidentally, is Hanna. Hanna Brewer.
We all agreed their sound was dissonant from their look, which is kinda Kurt-Courtney-Krist. They don't sound like Seattle's grungiest, aside from none of us being able to discern exactly what guitarist Taylor Busby was singing much of the time. A mosquito? My libido?
Speaking of carnal desires, Purple makes no pretense about enticing yours. Brewer literally coos some of the lyrics a la Marilyn Monroe while the band splashes about in creamy, spurting milk. And why not? They're three attractive kids with an obvious wild streak. If you ain't feeling that, get a pulse check.
Joe Cannariato's feedback-heavy bass drives the song along with Brewer's frenzied drumming. Busby's guitar work is solid here, though you should take a glance at some older Purple videos for more proof of his abilities and his apparent penchant for pastel-colored axes. The "Leche Loco" riff does stay with you all day, like the shadow of a milk moustache left over from your morning's cereal.
All this from some kids from Beaumont, I uttered.
Paxton then said he considers Beaumont the new Gainesville, Fla.; both seem to be deep wells of talent bubbling over in unexpected fields. My son agreed. Just as Gainesville spawned Against Me!, Less Than Jake and Tom Petty, there are some fine bands doing work down I-10 East, we concluded.
Beaumont's got Americana bands like Barelands and The Ruxpins. A personal favorite, The Ramblin' Boys, serve up an awesome roots-punk hybrid. From pop rockers Jenny and the Reincarnation to psychedelic folk jammers We Are Wombat, there's a lot going on eastward to be excited about.
Purple is proud to represent the area, too. Their latest album, 409, was released last year. And they're Texas proud -- one of the sexiest moments of "Leche Loco" is the one where Brewer saunters down the grocery-store aisle draped in the state flag. You can't find unmentionables like that in Victoria's Secret, and only a Texas girl could truly pull off the look. [Note: this paragraph has been edited to correct the album's release date.]
Part of the video was shot in a grocery store, which doesn't suck. The grocery store is easily one of the dullest places most of us have no choice but frequent. It's my life's dream to one day walk into Fiesta and see a band plugged up in the produce department, giving a full show amongst the lettuce heads and spuds. Until then, this will have to do.
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There's quite a bit of milk not being drunk in this video. Some might suggest it's being wasted because full gallons are being bashed by baseball bats and not being consumed in the traditional manner. Which, incidentally, is the very definition of waste, since you drink it and the stuff your body can't use is then excreted.
It's not as if Purple was a large conglomerate mining milk and allowing it to spill uncapped into the ocean. It's a half-dozen gallons, people. Elsie could squeeze that out in one morning. And, as long as Purple bought it and it's being used in for art's sake, how is it being wasted?
Since legions of people, including some of us at Rocks Off, began participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this sort of argument has arisen. By the way, this next section has nothing to do with Purple, or milk, so if you're not up for a divergent rant and just wanted to learn more about this kick-ass video, skip down. How could people waste all that water when part of the country's experiencing drought conditions, I've read many times now on my social-media feeds.
I'm not really surprised that some people are actively attempting to pour water on the movement, but c'mon. You know what's rarer than water in a drought? Times when people of disparate backgrounds are unified in a massive campaign to do something good for strangers. It's never just stopped raining and not started again in the history of the earth. Water will make a comeback. It always does. It never feels certain that the same can be said for human acts of generosity.
Okay, back to "Leche Loco." The video ends with Purple leaned out against a freeway trestle, exhausted from their lactose-tolerant adventures. It's tiring work, this rock and roll thing. But, Purple's got something to build from, if you ask me. Better catch 'em now while they're popping bottles of Borden's and not Cristal.
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