Getting Bratty With Pittsburgh’s Side Eye

Need some major brattitude?  Look no further than Side Eye.

Think of the sharp glances you throw an ex when they walk in the room. Now picture the girl standing next to him, not giving a single shit about your opinion. You’re halfway to the badass femme trio from Pittsburgh, PA.

Comprised of Chelsea Rumbaugh (guitar/vox), Marie Mashyna (bass), and Carrie Battle (drums), these girls are bringing the punk back to punk rock. Side Eye released their first full-length album, the riotous La Vague this past April. They’re determined to clear the lane for like-minded take-no-prisoners female rockers.  

About a year ago, ladylove blossomed amongst the sassy trio. Through their shared love of doo-wop, ‘60s French pop, and punk rock, they created a high octane sound that’s impossible to ignore.

La Vague was created to let loose this sass party on the world and to show what Pittsburgh musicians can do. Lighthearted tracks like “Bittersweet” and “I Wanna Be On TV” serve instant classic melodies and irreverent lyrics over rapid fire beats. Other tracks like “Wasting My Time 2017” and “The Wave” spotlight the group’s softer side (yes, they do have one), slowing down the tempo and adding soothing harmonies to the mix.

“I think that each song has its own vibe,” Battle tells BTRtoday. “We definitely wanted some of it to be high energy and new-sounding, but we were also going for that garage-y lo-fi sound. And then there are some songs we just wanted to be full and pretty.”

The album was recorded at one of Pittsburgh’s most popular venues, Mr. Smalls, where other famously steel city rockers have stormed the stage.

However, the band admits that the process wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops. The night before their first session, they celebrated a little too hard to put their best foot forward when the time came to record.

“We ruined ourselves and I think that’s what we’re talking about when we say it was kind of a roller coaster, because we really did have to rush in a couple studio sessions towards the end,” Battle says. “Then making all those last minute tiny decisions were so stressful, but to have it be over is so exciting and we’re really proud of the album.”

Despite the ups and downs of the sessions, the band is exuberant with the result.

Side Eye – La Vague

They played their record release show on April 28 with Talkers and Mystic Seers to a full-house of Iron City beer drinkers at Belvederes Ultra-Dive. It’s obvious Side Eye love their city and scene.

“As somebody who has been playing music in Pittsburgh for ten years, I feel like it’s a really special and great time to be making music here,” Battle says. “We’re really trying to break out of Pittsburgh a bit too—there have been bands who have done it, but that’s one of our goals, to represent the city on a larger scale.”

Recently, Side Eye became a part of an art collective/ record label called Golden Magnet, which also includes bands Mariage Blanc, Delicious Pastries, Sleep Experiments, and Host Skull. They collaborate finding new ways to help up-and-coming Pittsburgh bands.

Side Eye will be joining fellow 412-rockers Bat Zuppel on May 21, at Mr. Small’s for the late night show proceeding the infamous west coast punker Ty Segall.

Tune in to this week’s The Music Meetup to hear La Vague and the full chat with the ladies of Side Eye.