I was looking for something new and different to see Friday night, and I found it — an exciting all-female trio from Portland, Ore., called Explode Into Colors. This group doesn’t even have a proper album out yet, just a cassette and some singles, but it’s already making very lively, percussion-heavy rock. When I heard that they were an all-girl trio from the Pacific Northwest, I immediately thought of Sleater-Kinney. Explode Into Color’s music is more out there, more experimental than S-K, though there’s a similar sense of energy.
The Explode ladies put on a really good show Friday (Feb. 5) at Subterranean. Although the songs sound like they’re anchored by bass lines, that’s actually lead singer Claudia Meza’s baritone guitar. And no wonder the recordings sound like they have a lot of drums — Lisa Schonberg drums while Heather Treadway is a triple threat on drums, keyboards and vocals. The three of them were lined up across the front of the Subt stage. When a band doesn’t hide the drum kit in back, that’s always a sign that you’re going to hear some music with interesting percussion, and that turned out to be the case Friday night. Explode Into Colors does not apparently have a lot of songs yet, and the trio played a fairly short set during this show, which was their first appearance in Chicago. Hope they’re back soon.
Alas, the bracing set by Explode Into Colors was a sharp contrast with the cheesy opening sets by two Chicago groups. I hate to tear down any aspiring local musical act with harsh criticism, and I’ll note that both of the opening bands did draw a decent number of fans. But it’s a shame Subterranean didn’t find more appropriate openers to go with Explode Into Colors.