Someone done pissed off Summer Cannibals’ Jessica Boudreaux real good. “I’m dreaming of this city on mute,” she snarls on “Sounds,” the fuzz-bomb that opens the group’s self-produced debut, “where I can’t hear your band/And I don’t pretend to care.” Yikes. As anonymous fuck-you’s go, that cuts as deep as “You’re So Vain”—in a city like Portland, anyway.
Boudreaux doesn’t scream her anger: Throughout No Makeup, she seethes with raw tunefulness rather than open-throated rage. She leaves the aggression to her band. Guitarist Marc Swart plugs directly into the shared amp of the Cannibals’ Pacific Northwest garage-punk forebears, from Dead Moon through Sleater-Kinney, heaving chunks of concrete-heavy power chords over the rhythm section’s bulldozing swing and strangling his leads like the Pixies’ Joey Santiago. The band’s stomp is as big as its grooves: See the dinosaur-blues slither of “Wives,” with Boudreaux growling, “Since when are you virginal? Since when are you pure?”
isn’t all vitriolic insinuations. “The Hand” and “No Makeup” are choked
with self-loathing, while “Wear Me Out” bursts with sexual angst.
Through her perpetually curled lip, even Boudreaux’s come-ons register
as threats, but she makes both sound equally inviting.
SEE IT: Summer Cannibals play Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Grandparents and XDS, on Thursday, Aug. 1. 9 pm. $5. 21+.