Gore Gore Girls | 5.01.07

The crowd at Atomic Cowboy was immediately drawn into the Girls' sexy-sleazy stage presence and explosive sound.


Atomic Cowboy, St. Louis

Sultry garage-rock vixens with a '60s girl-group twist, Detroit's Gore Gore Girls stopped at the Atomic Cowboy on their headliner tour to promote their third full-length album, Get the Gore, out June 26 on Bloodshot Records.

Named for the 1972 film by B-movie thrill-king Herschell Gordon Lewis, Gore Gore Girls are like the Marvelettes on meth. Garage rock meets Nancy Sinatra, complete with vinyl dresses, fishnets, go-go boots and glitter. Who can resist being drawn in by them when they're so shiny and sparkly? Not this girl.

The Gore Gore Girls' powerhouse live performances landed them a slot alongside such rock heavyweights as Eagles of Death Metal, Mooney Suzuki, Shonen Knife, the Zombies, the New York Dolls, the Ravonettes, the Pretty Things, and the Strokes at Little Steven's Underground Garage Festival in 2005.

Guitarist and vocalist Amy Surdu (a.k.a. Amy Gore) formed the Girls out of an obsession with the style and attitude of '60s Motown girl groups and the sonic energy of full-tilt Detroit garage rock. Lead guitarist Marlene Hammerle (a.k.a. The Hammer), tour bassist Lianna Gore, and drummer Nicky Styxx round out the lineup. Surdu and Hammerle are hardcore devotees of Gretsch guitars, used by such legendary artists as Chet Atkins and Elvis Presley, and are sponsored by the classic guitarmaker.

The crowd at Atomic Cowboy was immediately drawn into the Girls' sexy-sleazy stage presence and explosive sound. Letting it rip from the get-go, they achieve just the right blend of girlie-girl pop sweetness and hard-edged rock goddess-ness on such songs as "All Grown Up," "Sweet Potato" and "Don't Cry," from Get the Gore.

All in all, the Gore Gore Girls worked the fairly large Tuesday-night crowd into a frenzy, only to leave them wanting more and chanting their name as they sashayed off the stage, leaving a cloud of glitter and girl sweat in their wake.

Now, the Girls don't get all the credit for the audience's excited state—they were, as Amy Gore put it onstage, "well lubricated" by the suitably-matched opening act, St. Louis-based Left Arm, who half-jokingly refer to their style as "tardcore."

For a three-piece band to really work well, all the links in the chain have to be strong, and that is definitely the case with the members of this band: bassist Jim Stotts, drummer Jason Potter and guitarist Joe Stumble (all three share vocal duties). A tightly knit, well-oiled machine, they keep the vibe lighthearted and fun while cranking out some serious, loud-ass garage punk rock 'n' roll.

This may be hard punk rock, but it is highly accessible and very danceable. And as the boys in Left Arm sing in one of their biggest crowd-pleasers, "When Jason says to dance, you better dance!" And we did.

The best thing about Left Arm, besides their first-rate musicianship, is that these guys never take themselves too seriously. While completely dedicated to their art and keeping the Left Arm tradition going, they're not pretentious, but rather more tongue-in-cheek about anything approaching self-importance. Mostly, they just rock. | Amy Burger

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