ZZZ's Elysium, Austin TX March 16
Published Mar 17, 2012It took all of about 30 seconds for ZZZ's to win over the crowd for the penultimate band of Japan night at SXSW. Made up of three women -- sporting leather and lots of mascara -- they played a stripped-down brand of punk with some funky basslines, driving drumbeats, angular post-rock guitar stylings and a few classic rock cliches, including some teeth-playing on the guitar. The vocals, often with the three of them screaming or chanting in unison, were mangled to the point of being unrecognizable, although the majority of lyrics appeared to be in English, "I Hate You" being one of the few recognizable refrains. One track ended in a great, chaotic breakdown with a single heavy, ominous bass note for about a minute. The drummer was the spokesperson for the band and was utterly charming in her sales pitch for the merch table, and all three girls raised a beer to the crowd at one point, encouraging them to "drink more." And when you thought it couldn't get any more tongue in cheek, ZZZ's played a crazy, ramshackle punk version of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."