SF Bay Area deviants The Grannies are back with a thick slab of infectiously potent punk ’n’ roll. To the uninitiated, this mysterious band is not only known for its raucous, punk-inspired sounds, but its colorful dress sense that consists of discarded women’s clothes and lingerie (one can only imagine the scents emanating from the band’s tour van). But before you start envisioning a contemporary version of the New York Dolls, The Grannies don’t really possess any of their forbearers’ rock-star brio or musical lineage. This brood is freakier and far less-polished, decked out like demented senior citizens with even crabbier dispositions. And while there is a comic element to the shtick, there’s no denying the raw energy of the music.
Ballsier opens with “Wade In Bloody Water,” which comes loaded with driving riffs and bad attitude. “Trouble Hurricane” is pure trash, with a ragged refrain that’s hard to shake, while the aptly titled “Hillbilly With Knife Skills” showcases the band’s unhinged energy. Aside from the originals, are a pair of covers, “Cranked Up Really High” by punk legends Slaughter and The Dogs, which does the original due justice, and a fairly lame cover of the already silly “Fight For Your Right” by The Beastie Boys.
All in all, The Grannies possess far more musical prowess than their basement-driven gimmickry might suggest, and Ballsier is the perfect example of this. (Jim Kaz)