Every now and again, someone will start proclaiming a band or an artist as the ones to "save" rock 'n' roll. But what they tend to forget is that rock music never needs resuscitating. The sound of ragged guitars, vocals with the right amount of snarl and wit, and unforgiving drums are never going to leave us, not as long as young people have something to shout about. And right now, the band making the most emphatic noise is Summer Cannibals.
This new outfit follows in the grand tradition of fellow fearless rockers from their hometown of Portland, Oregon like The Wipers, Dead Moon, and The Thermals. Vocalist/guitarist Jessica Boudreaux and guitarist Marc Swart grew the project out of their collaboration as members of well-regarded indie pop outfit Your Canvas. But where that band used fluttering keyboards and Boudreaux's expressive voice to get their collective point across, Summer Cannibals do as their name would suggest: tear into the meaty parts with fangs exposed.
Boudreaux and Swart dispense with 10 songs in under a half hour on their debut album No Makeup, knocking out sinister kiss-offs ("I'm dreaming of this city on mute/where I can't hear your band/And I don't pretend to care"), charming come ons ("Let's pretend I'm your favorite dress/You wear me everyday and ignore everything else"), and glitterbang guitar riffs with stunning ease.
There's a fair amount of anxiety and self-doubt sewn into the creases of this album, but don't let that throw you. Summer Cannibals are in complete control of their destiny. The group produced all the songs on No Makeup on their own, created the album's artwork, and is releasing it on the band's own label New Moss Records. Plans are also in the works for some music videos to be directed by Boudreaux.
In other words, there's no point in trying to get in the way of what Summer Cannibals is aiming to do this year. This is an unfiltered broadcast straight from the garage. You don't need a pair of rabbit ears to pick up on the frequency, though. The sound is aimed right at your heart and, trust us, it won't miss.