Death or Glory Presents(ed):
Semi Precious Weapons
The Bowery Electric
February 19th 2009
“I can’t pay my rent but I’m fucking gorgeous”
While this proclamation has echoed through nearly every article of old and new media that discuss Semi Precious Weapons, we can’t help but use it to lead this review. First things first…the venue was…well the venue should have been called The Frosty Nostril. The number of suited Christian Bale American psychos walking into the bathroom in twos and threes was astounding—bordering humorous. At 10PM the venue instituted its delightful hour long open bar, serving any and all vodka drinks for free. The bar tenders weren’t stingy; in fact they were very cooperative to those perched at the bar. Being perched at the bar ourselves, we only too gladly accepted their assistance. Among the highly fashionable nightlife lovers, hovering over vodka sodas and cran, I felt my own morose and indignant attitude toward Manhattan recede. By the time Semi Precious Weapons took the stage to utter the mantra above, the entire audience was primed for the impending onslaught. This band exploits the trends and eccentricities of what at first seems to be a caricature of early to mid 70’s proto-punk pop-glamour, but as vocalist Justin Tranter stepped onto stage with his “quick poncho” and mile-high stilettos, the scent of authentic sexed hedonism permeated the dark dank underground room.
Semi Precious Weapons’ debut full-length We Love You was executive produced by Tony Visconti, known for his long time production relationship with David Bowie. This telling accreditation hints at the substance that the band peddles. Although their set at The Bowery Electric was truncated to around 30 minutes, it injected a dose of vociferous stimulation that, with us at least, has to this moment not quite subsided. After the first few minutes it was clear that the band, particularly guitarist Stevy Pyne, were fucking incredible performers. We were expecting to some degree the debaucherously refined energy Semi Precious Weapons were known to exert. We were not however expecting Mr. Pyne. I had to pay special attention to his face melting licks to be sure that there was not a prerecorded music track making up for the loss of control sure to occur when a set is played with such complete abandon. Even when he walked into the ravenous crowd his execution was perfect. As Tranter climbed over amplifiers and through the ceiling light fixtures, the crowd observed a love for performance and entertainment so rarely offered on the modern stage. While everything about the band exuded fashion and image, Semi Precious Weapons are not prefabricated dogs in show. They are their own masters of ceremony—demanding our attention with the full expectation of obedience. Semi Precious Weapons are slutty enough, aggressive enough, and talented enough to expect what they demand.
-FF & TJ Broockerd
February 25th- Santos Party House New York, New York
March 7th- Plush Tucson, Arizona
March 9th-HELL on HEELS @ Beauty Bar Las Vegas, Nevada
March 10th- HELL on HEELS @ Bar Pink San Diego, California
March 11th- HELL on HEELS @ The Knitting Factory Los Angeles, CA
March 12th- HELL on HEELS @ Red Devil Lounge San Fransico, CA
March 13th- HELL on HEELS @ Voodoo Lounge San Jose, California
March 14th- In Store Performance @ Apple Store San Fran!
March 14th- HELL on HEELS @ Fire Escape Bar Citrus Heights, CA
March 15th- HELL on HEELS @ Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon
March 16th- HELL on HEELS @ El Corazon Seattle, Washington