Granny’s a “coke slut”

Katie Capri

baby picture in hand

Usually a granny is associated with soft voices, hard candies, old age and endearing physical incapability. The Brooklyn two-piece by the same name cannot be tied to any one of those attributes, unless used in reverse. When I saw Granny play at Radio Bushwick last month (their second show ever!), their performance was full of virility, especially through the vocal cords and guitar amp of Leslie Hong. Over Mattie Siegal’s pounding drums, Hong’s scuzzy guitar swings from garage grunge toward sweet pop punk without veering far enough into the pop to direction to sugar coat her unflinchingly honest lyrics.

Though the band is in its infancy, Hong and Siegal are no babes in the Brooklyn bandscape, with Hong playing guitar and singing in Haybay and Siegal appearing behind the kit in Sharkmuffin. I didn’t know that when Granny caught my ear when I saw their name on the roster for this summer’s 1.21 Gigawatts Fest. Even in their super lo fi, growly demos the strength of the songwriting is crystal clear. Seeing them live, though, cemented my instinct.

Hong’s voice roars at times and screeches at others. She sent a shiver through my tear ducts singing about the awkward gray areas of female experience; of being in bands, with a man, fake fawned over by a coked out bimbo and trying to operate within a society organized into stereotypes when you don’t feel like one. All this cultural critique comes in riot grrrl reminiscent vocal stylings. That dry mic really lets the heart wrenching urgency (un)settle into your soul. The riffs, played seamlessly with a wrist brace on Hong’s right hand, are bouncy with waves of surf rock tossed into an industrial East Coast context.

I was shocked to learn this was only Granny’s second show ever (Gigawatts fest their first). When I talked to Hong about it she said “we’re trying to see if there is a space in the scene for us.” Damn it, there better be! If not, I will personally find a wicker rocking chair for them to plop their keisters on and knit their tight brand of garage rock in the middle of the saccharine, over-glossed portions of Brooklyn’s music scene.

You can stream one of Granny’s grainier demos, “coke slut” below. For all three tracks, head to their SoundCloud.

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