When I first wrote about new Vegas punk record label Squid Hat Records signing of The Dirty Panties back in June, I was a little skeptical. The last time I saw the girl punk quartet was June 2010, at the first 18b Music Festival. And while they were OK, I certainly wouldn't have pegged them as the first to get picked off the line. But after seeing them at the CD release party last night at the Double Down for their album I Am A Robot, I trust label head Allan Carter's taste.
This wasn't the same loose, unrehearsed band I saw two years ago. These Dirty Panties were freeze-dried, packed so tight even the blast beats were synched to a T. Kayley “Animal” Malcolm rotated in and out of fast one-two-one-two and more rhythmically complex patterns with the smooth easiness of smoke rising to the stickered ceiling. Melanie Ash sang fast and hard, close enough to the older, bespectacled and tattooed audience to spit in its cheering mouths (and probably did during the crowd favorite "Fuck You Motherfucker").
And as they comfortably strolled through a punked up cover of "Money (That's What I Want)" (The Flying Lizards version), Squid Hat's early enfatuation for the band was quickly explained. This isn't grating, compensating riot grrl punk. It's tonally digestible, but balanced with gang choruses to keep the hard edge. It produces mosh pits, but ones that are more fun than they are cantakerous — which happens to be a perfect way to describe The Dirty Panties.