By Paul Stinson
Unvarnished, unfettered and decidedly up-in-your-grill, Los Angeles all-womxn power outfit Egg Drop Soup (EDS) captivated SXSW audiences in March, casting their punk-tinged sludge-rock spell over unsuspecting lanyard-wearers, leaving the packed-out venues chanting their name and calling for encores.
Packing out Austin’s newly-minted Chess Club and the Lowdown during separate showcase gigs, Egg Drop Soup’s live show is nothing less than a plugged-in toaster hurtled into the bathtub –shocking listeners to attention.
Samantha Westervelt sneers and growls her way through verbal barbs about the rat race and the monarchy, which pairs nicely with guitarist Oliva Saperstein’s Tony Iommi-ish looming metallic hues and Bailey Chapman’s unrelenting drum attack. Together, they are capable of toppling any venue or antiquated form of social structure.
It would be too easy to see the tack-spitting trio and expect a dose of L7, Joan Jett or Bikini Kill. Those notes are part of the pallet, but there’s a strong flavor of Stooges, or if Babes in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland fronted Black Sabbath.
For all of their capacity to generate a deliciously sludgy sound and fury, tracks including “Hard to Hold On,” “PMS” and “Subdivision” also demand repeat listening and show a band capable of mastering more than one songwriting gear, offering a generous catalog of fuzzed-out head-boppers.
Egg Drop Soup’s 2022 single “Regicide” –found on the compilation album by the same name– is the band’s latest example of just that, as Westervelt and Saperstein alternate vocal hooks and the verbal fine print of their revolution, building the song until it’s time to bring down the curtain on the king with one last catchy refrain.
Someone let me outta my iron cage/Someone let me outta the gilded age/Someone let me outta the white house/Someone left me on turn the lights out.
For all of the band’s capacity to own a room, it would be a mistake to pigeonhole the band as part of any one genre. Unless fuzzed-out decorum-goes-straight-into-the-woodchipper rock is a thing. You’ll ask for seconds if you know what’s good for you.
Egg Drop Soup Live
May 5 Zebulon, Los Angeles