Live: She Wants Revenge for Cheney Hunting Mishap



Left shot, in the background, totally looks like the guy is peeing

She Wants Revenge
Bowery Ballroom
February 11

Stream: “Sister”

Iggy had peanut butter breath, Big Black had Albini, but as far as confrontation’s gone, I’ve never seen a band that exists solely to mock the idiots who fall for them. ‘Joy Division rip’ doesn’t give LA electro-rockers and must-be industry joke She Wants Revenge enough credit. These songs are JD disco edits, the glum signifiers merely on loop (eighth-note downstrokes; one-note vocal melodies; minor thirds–the math checks out), the lyrics so remarkably inane (“I know I’ll have regrets, but that’s the price of lessons learned”), but the fans–oh the fans–twisting and date-ignoring along, some so zonked out I couldn’t tell if they were sleepwalking or winking at me with their mouths.

I am not being a dick here. Almost every song title references a specific Joy Division number: “Out of Control” (“She’s Lost Control”); “Disconnect” (“Isolation”); “Tear You Apart” (!) (“Love Will…”); “Someone Must Get Hurt” (“Atrocity Exhibition”), “These Things” (“These Days”), “Us” (“Colony”); “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” (“No Love Lost”); and, god bless SWR, “Broken Promises for Broken Hearts” (“Candidate” [!]). If the band isn’t in on this Kaufmanesque stunt, then somebody has to be writing their lyrics too, so autobiographical it actually mortifies me to think they may end up in Facebook profiles: “I’m a mess but it’s all right,” but better, “It’s not that it’s my fault / it’s just my style.”

Hey. This is 2006. The Dance Card still works if bands want to write off mediocrity. In fairness the first five minutes of opener “Red Flags and Long Nights” did kick my ass, as SWR jammed on one chord while their drummer, a step up from the chintzy metronome on record, kicked out double-time on the bass drum. But when the ski-hat wearing frontman Justin Warfield accidentally knocked his mic stand down on (seriously) “Out of Control,” broke from his brood trying to catch it, then decided ‘play it cool, Justin, you did that on purpose’ and hovered near the stagefloor, I felt a chill. “We’re slaves to the DJ!” everybody would soon shout along (JW, fyi, was a DJ pre-SWR), then count off 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 with Warfield, whose soul must have died just a little bit from the laughter inside.