Kizzy Kirk, the rambunctious front woman of the Long Beach garage-rock outfit Feral Kizzy, unleashes an air raid of F-bombs when talking about her band's recent momentum. She sounds like a Teamster, but in a joyful, excited way. There's a ton of great fucking shit happening in the world of Feral Kizzy right now.
First and foremost, the band are in the midst of putting the finishing touches on their self-titled debut LP. They've enlisted Jonny Bell of Crystal Antlers for the mastering, and the first couple of tracks are just about done. Kirk's happy to give us a sneak peek of the first two singles, provided we don't leak the material.
The first track, "Community Service," is a throwback to '80s rock noir; Kirk says it sounds as though it belongs on the Lost Boys soundtrack. There's a definite Nick Cave/The XX vibe happening here–lots of subdued intensity, with Kirk's raw soprano channeling Runaways-era Cherie Currie.
The other single, "The Way We Are," is what she calls "a cyclic relationship battle between two people, like a King Kong-vs.-Godzilla kind of thing." It's a sparse uptempo romp with a big chorus that encapsulates the steps forward the band have taken in terms of songwriting. "The drum dynamics," Kirk explains, is the biggest difference in this newest batch of songs. "[Drummer] Mike [Meza] is, like, really great about [asking], 'Where do you want me to go [with the feel],' and he can really unleash 'cause he's a fucking beast on the drums–dude's so fucking great."
Beast is an apt word for Feral Kizzy, especially in a live setting. The band's reputation as a fearsome live act is built on tales such as when they spit fake blood all over the stage at the Zombie Walk, pissing off the stage crew in the process, or when Kirk face-planted over the low barrier at the front of the stage at the Continental Room in Fullerton.
The band's 2011 self-titled EP documents this live energy. From start to finish, it's 20 minutes of ball-busting octane that serves as a great watermark for them. But Kirk admits it's become hard to listen to: "With the EP, I would be listening to it, driving around in the car, like, 'We should have done this; we should have done that,' like, 'What the fuck were we doing here?'" she says. "Now, with the new stuff, I'm like, 'This shit is fuckin' groovin'! This is fuckin' great!'" She gives much of the credit to guitarist Johnny Lim.
The plan, Kirk says, is to shop around the two singles to potential record labels. She dreams of being on Sub Pop, though she has a soft spot for the greasy boys at Ghoulhouse Records. That's another thing about Feral Kizzy: They have a ton of friends, and there's a lot of cross-pollination occurring between them and art-punks across the southland. "The bands we've been playing with are so fucking great and supportive," Kirk says. "People from BLOK, the guys from Terminal A, Loveydove. Luka Fisher, who does our artwork, is the glue that holds us all together. I feel like I found the right place with the right people."
Feral Kizzy perform with BLOK, Death Hymn Number 9, Terminal A and Loveydove at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim, Long Beach, (562) 432-8292; www.alexsbar.com. Thurs., March 27, 9 p.m. $5.
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