WET KISS - "SHE'S SO COOL" LP
She's So Cool is about love and the faggotry of rock and roll. Wet Kiss is led by singer and lyricist Brenna O who conceives of the songs using disconnected poetic phrases pasted together from her phone notes.
"I would describe the scene in my head as best I could," O says "mostly in a non-musical way, and the band just got it. I knew exactly what I wanted, and they knew exactly what to do."
Wet Kiss began recording for this 10-track punk drama piece in their shared suburban warehouse which was permanently set up like one big installation. I conducted my first meeting with the band amid their struggles with the local council which aimed to kick them out, and from a councilman's perspective, I can see why. Instruments strewed in every corner of this carpark wide dust hole like a museum to lost rock relics was an eye-saw to a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, a museum that only existed in Brenna's wishful imaginations. Not to mention the constant run-ins with the pigs (I'm not talking about their Manager either but that's another story)
Brenna continues "Not everything has been radical for us y'know, the cops have tried busting us for years now, we got this reputation on the street for getting into some stuff we shouldn't have and making noise when we shouldn't have." She says while stroking the hair of Wet Kiss’ drummer, girlfriend and pet dog daniel ward also of the band, bodies. "When we started [recording] we knew it would have to be quick, knowing the noise complaints would pile in and the cops would come to shut down the rock and roll as soon as they could. On the last take of Hello, I Love You the pigs hit the door down and we were on good behavior."
“Woof '' daniel adds. Though, I later realized they were just clearing their throat as they can speak complete coherent sentences.
Brenna speaks in an almost childish shy tone which makes me feel uncomfortable but the glint in her eye when she retells a story is alluring like an aging alcoholic beauty. It’s hard to know what are truths and what are truthful embellishments. The band also comprises the ball gown draped bassist Ben Sendy who sews garments for the band’s live performances by upscaling old clothes found on the street. I turn to them for any additional information on the recording process but am met with a dead end “I don’t do the interviews” Ben says to me while fingering through the ashtray like it's a boring salad.
Wet Kiss’ fourth member is Aldo, a tall and handsome man in blue levi’s, a white singlet and last night's eyeliner. “We basically want to make music into a career so we don’t have to live in a warehouse anymore” Looking genuinely concerned for his physical and mental health he proclaims shockingly that Wet Kiss are interlocked in an ongoing contract dispute with their management, a pig no doubt. He continues “We are moving nowhere fast. We perform night after night at the same dive bar to the same gang of deadbeat rats with this Pig manager breathing down our neck, right now we're kinda trapped.”
Brenna elaborates “I met our manager Pig, online, I was doing the rounds on one of those sexy chatrooms and we got to talking, he’s kinda charming for a pig and it turned he was the same amount ambitious and broke we were so signed this contract for a nightly gig, but the riches never came”
In the world of Wet Kiss humanoid dead beat punks live morally and philosophically lost lives where punk music is a full time occupation that pays in street-cred not dollars. I asked them what they expected for their future if freedom was ever on the cards.
“Having the band elevated our vision” daniel barks “all of a sudden everything was possible. We want to take this momentum and build enough exposure so we can split this town, take a hike to greener pastures and cook some real bacon”
The band speak like beatniks from a far gone era but they’ve arrived at a pristine moment in culture where the lines of irony and historical ode are no longer pastiche but a primary tool for creation. I later went to the dive bar they perform night after night to conclude the interview over a beer. I mingled with the local clientele, all of whom were Ratfolk, and took in the scene, finding myself transfixed on the grime and cigarette smoke reflecting off of the glitter and sequins. Regardless of their pretentious attitude and filthy mattresses, the band was hot, the songs were bigger than their ego and I felt a new energy coming on. Maybe I could get used to living in the Wet Kiss world.
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