Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Rezillos at the Gramercy Theatre

Fay Fife
The Rezillos formed as a garage pop band in 1976 by art students in Edinburgh, Scotland. The band name was adapted from the name of a club called "Revilos" that appeared in the first issue of the DC Comics publication The Shadow in 1973. Although emerging during the punk rock movement, the Rezillos preferred a light-hearted pop approach rather than the nihilism and angry social commentary of the contemporaries. The band released its 1978 debut album, Can't Stand the Rezillos, received considerable attention, and then split apart four months later. Vocalists Fay Fife and Eugene Reynolds formed a new band, the Revillos, which hosted an ever-changing line-up until that group split in 1985. The second wave of the Rezillos began with a reunion in 2002 for a hometown New Year's Eve concert. The band presently consists of Fife and Reynolds, guitarist Jim Brady, bassist Chris Agnew and original drummer Angel Paterson. The Rezillos' sophomore studio album, Zero, was released on March 9, 2015, 27 years after the first album.

The Rezillos headlined at the Gramercy Theatre tonight, only the band's third-ever New York concert (after CBGB's in 1978 and the Bowery Electric in 2012). The vocalists played up to the audience with dances, howls, and chatter, and the male/female vocal delivery was reminiscent of the grungier side of the B-52's, X and the Cramps. The garage-rock songs were guitar-driven, however, with Ramones-like chords powering the melodies and noisy leads filling between lyrics. With punk rock speed, volume and energy, the Rezillos performed most of its two albums, plus a cover of "River Deep, Mountain High," originally recorded by Ike & Tina Turner. The set ended with another cover, Fleetwood Mac's "Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight," the song that revived the Rezillos when it was featured in the soundtrack of a Jackass movie. The Rezillos' sound was rooted in 1960s pop, but it was raucous enough to jar a few heads in 2015.

Visit the Rezillos at