The Old Blue Last
Between songs Grass Widow’s curly haired bassist and apparent spokesperson Hannah Lew talks of crayons and driving on the left, and kindly gives props to tonight’s supporting Trash Kit. God knows exactly what she’s saying – it’s all coyly whispered with a cutesy hush that the San Franciscan trio then slip into a steady flow of songs: a clattering brand of DIY punk-by-numbers inspired by The Raincoats and since mastered by Wetdog and La La Vasquez.
Over their sweet coos, which come from all three members, their pots’n’pans drums are joined by a crunchy guitar and spindly bass, which doesn’t sound too original because, well, it’s not. Their neat trick, however (other than the fact that they can actually sing), is to play in time while somehow making it sound like each member is half a second ahead of the other two. It gives their show a frantic, skitty, surf pace that’s best seen throughout ‘Uncertain Memory’ as it wearily yawns to life only to dash off to hippyish, group “aaahhhs”. To really notice this particular subtlety though, and the band’s underlining, witchy mystique, you have to have lived with debut album ‘Past Time’ for a while, and judging by the ever-growing murmurs that shun Grass Widow from their fourth song, there’s a good chance that a majority of tonight’s onlookers haven’t.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 22 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. October 2010