It’s Friday night and there is a line forming outside the door at The Echo, a night club located in the edgy Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park, CA. Luckily the line is limited to ticket holders only as The Regrettes’ record release party had sold out some hours before. It is a momentous occasion for the band who have come a long way in a short time, starting as rock school students now on their way to the crowning title of full fledged rock stars, celebrating the release of ‘Feel Your Feeling Fool!’ on Warner Brothers records.
The club was filling up as opening band Starcrawler took the stage, fronted by ‘charismatic is an understatement’ lead singer, Arrow De Wilde. A teen sensation well beyond her years, Arrow conjures Iggy Pop like insanity with her stage moves, as her reverb laden band lays down aggressive riffs leaving behind a beautiful mess of rock n’ roll destruction. Spitting blood and destroying pillows, some may argue that Starcrawler stole the show.
With their work cut out for them, Dog Party was up next. A sister guitar and drum duo, who boast opening slots for Green Day and Best Coast, the band offered a high energy retro punky vibe.
Finally, The Regrettes took the stage. For those not familiar with the band, singer Lydia Night started her rock n’ roll journey as a School of Rock student. At the tender age of 7 she decided to expand her horizons, writing original music in a two piece guitar and drum rock band called Pretty Little Demons. The band had quite a bit of success but eventually disbanded.
Bandless and depressed, Lydia soon turned to School of Rock alum Genessa Gariano who was fronting her own band as a guitarist and singer, along with Sage Nicole ofnbass and Maxx Morando on drums. Lydia offered the three piece the opportunity to play in her band, and The Regrettes were born.
The Regrettes have worked on cultivating a garage-y sound that one might say could be described as The Ramones meets The Ronettes with a bit of Hole thrown in for good measure. Their message is one of feminism, teenage laments and self acceptance. Their single, “Real Life Human Girl”, caught the attention of Knoller Management who was successful in turning Warner Brothers on to the band. Boasting lyrics like,
I’ve got pimples on my face And grease in my hair
And freckly legs, go ‘head and stare
An ass full of stretchmarks and little boobs
A nice full belly that’s filled with food
Sometimes I’m pretty, and sometimes I’m not
So let’s take a listen Hit me with your best shot
Now here the girls are, releasing their first album, Lydia having just turned 16 years old.
Last Friday night, The Regrettes were in rare form. Lydia, who is often a bit aloof with the audience, really came into herself as a lead singer. Adorned in a black dress and red lipstick, Lydia threw herself around the stage in all her rock star glory. She conversed with the audience and joked, touched on political issues, and even broke up a near altercation in the mosh pit. Her band played behind her delivering tight 60’s influenced punk with a fuzzy guitar, stripped down yet powerful drumming and girl group harmonies The Marvellettes might marvel over.
After the show the band came back graciously to do a meet and greet with the many fans who were lining up to speak to them. A cake was brought out which boasted the album cover, which, ironically, features the band sitting on top of a cake. I briefly wondered whether this could be cake-ception, but all thoughts of that were replaced by wondering if the white frosted cake was filled with chocolate and, if so, would I be lucky enough to get a piece. However, after lingering some time, it seemed that there was no cake forthcoming, so I left the venue, with a CD instead.