The Hollywood Hellbelles known as the Screaming Sirens amassed quite a reputation in its six years and more than 15 recordings together, and this “reunion” show proved that these cult heroines were both ahead of their time and timeless. After all, when is raucous, down ‘n’ dirty fun out of style?
Much has recently been made of all-female groups–Hole, L7, Seven Year Bitch and Babes in Toyland, for example–but the Screaming Sirens eschew feminist leanings in favor of campy entertainment, though quite a few of their songs are catchy and memorable. While fun is the name of the game, the musicianship, despite some false starts (and finishes and middles) generally held its own, especially the guitar work of Grimm and Flores.
From 1984 to 1990, which marked the Sirens’ tenure on the club, touring, and low-budget movie scene, the sometimes-changing lineup evolved from cowpunk to more basic, ballsy rock ‘n’ roll. Still, when Sirenized, every song has a trademark wackiness. Tunes like “Good Girls Gonna Go Bad,” the irresistible “Queen of Kingdom Come” and “Mr. T Luv Boogie” remind that music is often at its best when it’s at its worst.
Flailing legs, girl-bonding, sloppy songs, beer (both balanced on lead singer Gehman’s head and imbibed), and eager on-stage male fans characterized this performance, which was highlighted by songs like “Little White Lies” and the road romance tale “Somewhere USA,” both from the Sirens’ critically lauded second full-length independently released album, “VooDoo.”
Though the irrepressible Sirens have split except for the odd reunion show, most are pursuing solo ventures. Grimm has played the L.A. scene fronting her own band; Flores is a critically acclaimed country performer; and, in addition to a successful journalistic career, Gehman leads what might be the next logical step after the Sirens, the “white trailer trash” lineup Honk If Yer Horny. Thankfully, the Sirens will not be silenced.