There’s a reason Animal Show frontwoman Reiley Ugly’s hair is so big. It’s full of punk rock secrets.
Richard Hell’s staple punk rock album Blank Generation is an anthem to the punk rock that rose out of the dark, dank and ruthless New York of the 1970s, when the city was covered in spray paint and broken glass.
Today’s NYC has been scrubbed clean. But you can still feel that punk rock danger with Animal Show, an NYC group channelling the chaos of Richard Hell and Iggy Pop & The Stooges. Their raw sound and fuck-you vibe is startling and refreshing.
But if you can’t handle the punk rock, get out of the Animal Show.
I know I’ve been throwing around this word “punk” a lot, five times so far (well, now six). But these guys are the definition of punk rock. They capture the spirit so well it’ll make you want to scream,“fuck yes!” They get it; and if you didn’t get the genre before, you will now.
“That classic punk did not make sense to me until I moved here [to NYC],” Al Bum, bassist of Animal Show, tells BTRtoday. “You walk in the streets and you can just understand why it was written and how it made sense and still makes sense now.”
Ugly has obsessed over early ‘70s NYC punk her whole life. “That’s always been my shit,” she says. “So, that’s what I’m inspired by.”
Bum met Ugly through a Craigslist ad that Ugly posted searching for a bassist. Ugly chuckles that the music section of Craigslist is filled mostly with dads looking for musicians to play in classic rock cover bands. “I was the only non-dad,” she says.
“I was reading them [Craiglist ads] as a joke, to be honest,” Bum explains. “Then I found this thing that was perfect for me—I took a few days to respond, because I was a little sketched out.” Now, Bum has been playing with Ugly for about a year and they have since become roommates. “I guess the moral of the story is, don’t find bands on Craigslist because then they move into your apartment.”
Andy Animal is the mastermind behind Meltasia, a three-day festival in upstate NY that bills some of the best underground music in the country. Last year the festival had headliners like Fat White Family and Sheer Mag and this year Animal got Roky Erickson, Pissed Jeans and so many other great acts, including Animal Show (Sept. 8-10).
Currently, the band only has a self-titled LP available on Soundcloud for streaming. The songs are fast, passionate and loud. They’re not afraid to shred their fingers raw while Ugly’s deep and feisty vocals stir your insides up like the Tasmanian Devil. Listen to the whole thing on this week’s The Music Meetup along with the entire interview with Ugly and Bum.