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Say Revenge! debuts with a fun — and furious — shit-talking album

Photo: Illustration by Tattooed Boy, License: N/A

Illustration by Tattooed Boy

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The women of Say Revenge! — half of the co-ed foursome — are the type that, no matter what they say to you, always seem on the verge of laughter.

Singer Christina Rodriguez and guitarist Maria Benavides cut each other off constantly, unable to control their excitement when talking about Rough Night, Sugar? It is the first album by the band that, under a different lineup, used to be called Brass Knuckle Betties. After two members left, original bassist Chris Compean and drummer Eddie Gutierrez, along with Rodriguez, decided to change the band’s name. So there was a vote.

“They wanted to change the name and I didn’t, but I got outvoted,” said Benavides. “Say Revenge! was the only name we could really agree on, and it’s also the first song Christina and me worked on together, ever. We just thought it was funny — Say Revenge! is kind of cute.”

Nothing wrong with Brass Knuckle Betties. But Say Revenge! also has a nice ring to it and, judging by the sound of the album (to be released Friday at Nightrocker Live), they could’ve been called The Fun and The Furious, for all I care.

In just under 32 minutes, the band delivers 12 fast tracks averaging less than three minutes each in a pop-punk fest that includes gems like “Tell Your Boyfriend I Said Thanks” (“He was alright,” says the chorus) and the single “Everyone Likes Zombies,” complete with a Night of the Living Dead-like video that cost $50 to make. What stands out is not simply raw power, but the fact that the band is having the fun of their lives and won’t let any limitations stop them.

While Rodriguez is a hell of a singer, the band’s calling card is Benavides’ guitar work. She’s not Stevie Ray Vaughn, but she grooves. She has swing and rhythm. She knows where it’s at, and she knows what she can and can’t do. “We’re not just trying to make it perfect,” said Benavides. “With the album we got the point across. I think it was good and shows that we can laugh at ourselves when we mess up. And we mess up a lot.”

But the band won’t sacrifice any artistic aspirations under the pretext of DIY spirit — whatever Say Revenge! can do, they want to do it right. “These girls mean business,” says Compean, the bassist. “I’ve been around, and in other bands people get lazy and it’s hard getting them to practice. But these girls are [responsible]. That’s what I like about them.”

Not only did they go for a full album instead of an EP — they even got Tattooed Boy to design the cover and inner sleeve, complete with lyrics for all the songs. “It wasn’t easy to do this, we’re new at it,” said Rodriguez about the making of the album. “But I’ve noticed that if you ask and pick people’s brains, some people help you and some don’t. We thank those who help us. The others? Fuck those motherfuckers.”

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