Friday, September 12, 2014

dirt city archives: HERE COMES TROUBLE

THE EYELINERS vs the psychodrama 

Despite the inevitable dirty old men in the audience, The Eyeliners didn’t draw attention to their gender. Sisters Gel, Laura and Lisa debuted as Psychodrama, certainly not a name that screams “girl band! ”. Nor did they emulate the pandering jailbait image that the girls of The Donnas milked successfully well into their twenties. There were no babydoll dresses or torn fishnets but tees, hoodies and high top Chuck Taylors. All that Psychodrama wanted was to rock out and have fun.

the first time the Golden West decided to bail on being a punk venue. later on, new promoters tried to revive it but it didn't last. the owners couldn't make up their minds whether to keep the place packed with enthusiastic  people buying drinks or to cater to a few barflies.

By 1995, the ‘burque was re-energized by an explosion of local punk bands. Psychodrama not only jumped aboard but propelled the excitement. Besides the downtown clubs the girls gigged at every all-ages spot available. There were lots more then: Back Door Music, El Place, Scottie’s Guitar Shop, Fred’s Bread & Bagel and Mind Over Matter to name a few. 


After a gig in the side room at Drop Out Records (next to the Post Office in the student ghetto ) I remember telling the girls something like "Great show. Better than the Teen Angels", for whom they'd opened the previous night at The Golden West. They seemed sincerely flattered but laughed a bit, likely wondering what the hell this thirty-something guy with hair and beard down to here knew about pop-punk. Fair enough. It was all new to me but I knew quality when I heard it. 

a short-lived guitar shop in that weird old "mall" of storefronts on Lead Ave. only the laundromat has lasted. rumor says Scottie  shot too much junk to keep his place open.  

So did Scott Parsons (BigDamnCrazyWeight, The Honeys) who assisted with the self-recorded self-released Vivid  7” which had just debuted to an enthusiastic reception. Comparisons to the Ramones appeared immediately. While that may be true in spirit, the sound was really closer to the Lookout Records’ house style as heard from, say, Screeching Weasel. It was pop-punk but with a nice raw bite.

no you can't have this even though i have two copies, one i've never played yet.  # collector scum.

Confidential,  a full-length for notorious girl band geek Long Gone John on his Sympathy For the Record Industry label was released in 1997. Now Gel (guitar), Lisa (bass) and Laura (drums/vocals) were known as The Eyeliners, a slight nod to gender but with the attitude of Yeah, we’re girls. So what?  The touring began to last longer and travel farther.

Flash forward to 2003: The Eyeliners were mainstays on the Warped Tour. The hometown shows were less frequent as the band put its efforts into tours with the likes of Social Distortion and recording with Joan Jett. Typically as national success came, the local scenester psychodrama bitching started, none of it worth repeating.  All I whined about was the slow trickle of releases and the succession of substitute drummers so Laura could concentrate on fronting the band.

With 'burque shows far and few in between, The Eyeliners kinda fell off all of our local radars. By then much of the crowd for garage music had drained away. We were all drowning in the Great Emo Deluge of the early 2000s and somehow everyone decided that metal was punk. It was grim.

Although we had fewer chances to hear them, The Eyeliners remained a bright spot in the local scene. Its been almost ten years since the girls' last New Mexico gig (Warped in Las Cruces..? ). There’s been no promises but I'm hoping we haven’t heard the last of The Eyeliners just yet. 

originally appeared in Weekly Alibi

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