New Band Reviews: March 1995


SLUGFEST: Three Bands Three Bucks, 9:30 PM @ Cinema Bar

James Stewart: Issue 75, March 1995

James Stewart could do the entire SLUGFEST show by himself, and I’d be happy to just sit and drink beer and watch him play. He’s that good. James does acoustic originals on guitar and banjo

Power Tools For Women: Issue 75, March 1995

that are sweet and scary, deep and sometimes dark and funny. Now that people are starting to recognize acoustic artists more, we thought he’d be a welcome and perfect addition to the SLUGFEST lineup.

He will also be on the upcoming SLUG compilation to be released in April (really). The only problem is he sent in more than one song, and they are all real good. We are having a tough time choosing which one to put on. James will be up first on the first, so as always, show up early!

The second band on April Fools night is Big Tree. They’ve been together for about a year and have been playing out for two months or so. Steve Penrod (vocals and guitar), Bruce Bennett (drums) and Pooch (bass) are all natives of Zion, and Michael Bayless (guitar) is from San Diego. Big Tree is a hard-edged band with well written harmonies and guitar lines. They are not grunge, but they aren’t metal either. Being diverse is what this band thrives on, and it shows in their material. Check them out. Guitar players interested in this band may note that Michael is moving to England in a month, and Big Tree is looking for a replacement.  

Big Tree: Issue 75, March 1995

And now for my favorite new band: Power Tools For Girls. They don’t like abbreviations. They don’t like “chick bands.” They do like to play though, and after seeing them at the SLUG party, I loved these guys. And Julie too. Eli (from Mouthbreather fame) lays down his patented scare tactic guitar hooks, while Pat Dahl and Leif Myberg hold together a very tight rhythm section that rumbles big for the basis of Power Tools For Girls’ sound. Julie S. (the S is for sassy) handles the vocals like a woman possessed, á la Concrete Blonde. Driven is probably a better word, because it not only describes the obvious passion in her voice, it shows the integrity of this band. They aren’t fucking around. They are doing something they care about, and it shows in their live performances. Don’t miss them, because I don’t want to have to explain it to you twice. Besides, Helen Wolf will be my date. All I can say about Power Tools For Girls is they should play out more, record a CD and let SLC boast yet another overlooked jewel. By the way, they got the name from a ‘60s magazine ad for hair dryers and curling irons, so don’t get your panties in a bunch. On a final note, I misquoted Julie throughout this entire article. So there.

Check out more from the SLUG archives here:
Shadowplay: January 1995
Concert Review: Hi Fi and The Roadburners