The Clorox Girls with the Observers , Fucked Up , Brutal Knights and Career Suicide at Cinecycle (129 Spadina), Friday (June 3). $10. www.cloroxgirls.com. Rating: NNNNN
Portland's Clorox Girls are better known for their nutty tour exploits than for their recordings - particularly in Toronto, where their notorious after-show encounter with promoter Dan Burke has become local club scene legend.
However hilarious that surreal tale of getting paid in women's designer denim for a gig may be, it's a shame that the Clorox Girls aren't better known for their brilliant two-minute punk pop thrashes and wildly unhinged performances.
Their blazing self-titled LP - expertly produced by Kurt Bloch for full- throttle rock action - is easily the most exciting punk rock debut since the New Bomb Turks blasted their way out of Columbus, Ohio, with Destroy-Oh-Boy! back in 93. Similarly, the Clorox Girls' opus is a no-budget job, feverishly recorded in about the time it took to play through all 12 roaring tunes, and shares that world-beating attitude common to no-count fuds convinced of their own three-chord rockin' superiority.
It sounds so amazing, I must admit that I was a bit doubtful that they'd be able to capture the simple slapdash beauty of it all onstage. However, after seeing them tear it up at Beerland in Austin during SXSW last March, I'm happy to report that the Clorox Girls are even more dangerously dazzling once they've had a few beer showers.
"Yeah, I think the record actually sounds better than the band," laughs singer/guitarist Justin Maurer from a tour stop in Calgary. "Kurt did an amazing job. That's why we went back to record our new album with him.
"Recording with someone who played in bands and understands the music we play is a real advantage over using some professional recording engineer who's after a specific sound that might not be ours.
"Kurt knew what we did and had a good idea of how to capture it. So it was all done really fast and frantic - we recorded everything in one day and mixed it the next - which I think probably worked in our favour."
It was a much longer process to record the songs for their forthcoming This Dimension disc. Instead of two days, it took three days at a total cost of "about a thousand bucks."
So what was the big holdup?
"Well, the new songs were a bit more complex. Not really more intricate or elaborate - we didn't try to go all arty - just some weirder parts that required a little extra time. So while we still recorded all the tracks in one day, it took two days to mix. It would've been great if we'd had the money to spend a couple more days on it, but I'm happy with what we got."
This Dimension won't be out until the end of September, but you'll get to hear a preview when the Clorox Girls shake up Cinecycle Friday night, their first local show since the infamous denim debacle.
"It's been said we were paid three pairs of designer jeans, but it was actually three pairs between two bands, Holy Ghost Revival and us. We might not even have got that had I not cornered Dan in the washroom after the show and asked to be paid.
"He said, 'Do you guys have girlfriends?' I told him we did, so he went and got the jeans, threw them at me and ran away. He looked so pathetic and sweaty that I couldn't be bothered chasing him. We wound up tearing the jeans into cut-offs in Florida and going swimming in the Gulf of Mexico in them."
That's not the strangest tour tale the Clorox Girls have to tell. Along with the post-gig fistfight with a fan in Germany over a bottle of vodka and the chocolate-milk-chugging competition in Belgium, there was that odd bum rush incident in Göteborg, Sweden.
"Some naked dude jumped on the stage, so we started into the Village People's YMCA. I grabbed his dick and used it to strum my guitar. He seemed to enjoy it, and the crowd went absolutely nuts. We made a pile of money that night and ended up in a beautiful hotel and had a really nice salmon dinner, too."