Vixens is gathered in a bedroom/indoor yard sale site, just before one of the final basement shows at the house show staple Murderhouse. It's vocalist Josephine Stevens' birthday and she's fighting off a cold by belting her guts out with her new band Throat Hash and Vixens.
While Murderhouse tenants are off to greener pastures, Vixens is staring down the barrel of a banner year. On Monday, the band will release its self-titled debut full length, a collection of songs from demos and unreleased songs, out now on La Vida Es Un Mus from the UK (100 will be hot pink).
The album is loud, abrasive, heavy noise, Julia Tufts' thundering drums back riffs and vocals straight from the depths of hell. Songs like "Absolute Complacency" and "To A Woman" trudge and thrash, alluding to apathy and emotionlessness. "It's kind of like a general all encompassing message of bringing the punk," says Stevens. "We talk about the punks and skids---we talk about the kids."
"Just mundane personal problems and annoyances," adds Rosie Davis, guitar. "It's self-aware angst over some catchy riffs," says Stevens. "Ripped if you do, ripped if you don't."
Bassist Bridget Robins did the artwork, which reveals as much about the band as the lyrics. "Inside is like a collage," says Robins. "I just wanted it to relate to our music, and who we are as a band and as friends. That's what I felt was important." "It's just shit we like," says guitarist Rosie Davis. "There's like pizza, dogs and tall socks."
They joke about how this interview will be translated, throwing out classic music journalistic tropes---"These four fierce females are poised to take off!" jokes Davis. "We're not poised for anything," says Stevens. "We're poised for the couch."
A quote from music writer Jean Encoule describes the band as follows: "Vixens look like The Runaways before they met Kim Fowley, and sound like Gallhammer before they discovered doom. Unrequited anger oozes from every pore of this monster, a triumph of will over talent."
When asked if they consider it a backhanded compliment, Tufts disagrees right away.
"It was the coolest thing I've ever read," says Stevens.
"But I mean it's true," says Davis. "I'm not like a great guitar player and I don't really practice enough. There's an element of punk that's about freshness and not really knowing what you're doing. I'm kind of holding onto that---it's like a juvenile aspect that makes things seem a little more sincere. But I don't think we're lacking in talent either. I think we have some pretty good musicianship in there."
"Amen," says Stevens. "It's like a stew on the burner---just keep stirring it. That's what we do."
The band set the stew to a simmer earlier this year as they finished school and began other projects---"We started like 10 more bands," says Tufts.
"It feels better now coming back to it after taking a little break," says Robins. "It's more exciting."
"It's kind of insane what's happened but we have a record coming out on pretty much the best punk label right now," says Davis. "I feel like we just kind of started this for fun cause we're all friends and like hanging out so everything else that happens is just beyond our wildest dreams." --Stephanie Johns
Vixens, w/Beartrap (Massachusetts), Sleight, Bricks, Monday, June 24, 7pm Plan B, 2180 Gottingen Street, $5, all ages