The furious art/post-punk of New York/Canada’s Grim Streaker is captivating and terrifying at the same time. Front woman, Amelia Bushell’s, stage presence is deadpan and piercing, and with her twisting eyes, and a chaotic pout, you can’t tell if she’s stimulated or possessed while singing these songs on the latest EP, Mind.
As she rocked a pinstripe suit, it felt like a deranged banker was leading us through snapshots of a depraved life. And many in the crowd loved every minute of it. The noisy melodic guitar, drums, and bass made dancing encouraged, and at Bushell’s behest, we would probably have done anything. There were some funny moments, like when Grim Streaker began handing out chips to everyone, feeding off the energy of the wildness.
Another art-punk group from New York, Gustaf, was the perfect band to play after Grim Streaker for, yes, their similarities but also differences. Gustaf’s stage mania is like nothing you’ve witnessed. It’s a different breed that feels like it was pulled out of the dadaist performance art movement. It’s frenetic self-satire with elements of the unknown.
I was half-expecting the members to start wrecking their instruments as the front singer, Lydia, began smacking her face over and over again to literally hammer home a point. It felt like the therapy session of a speed addict. The music and distorted, deep vocals are uncanny if not a little off-putting. But this band has gotten accolades from the uncanny king himself, Beck. Make sure to see this band live if you get the chance.