Saturday, September 19, 2015

STIMULATE 7 Year Anniversary: Pop Will Eat Itself at Santos Party House

Graham Crabb (foreground) & Mary Byker
The roots of Pop Will Eat Itself (also known as PWEI or The Poppies) originated in 1981 in Stourbridge, England. Graham Crabb played drums in From Eden, which later became Wild and Wandering, and by 1986 evolved into Pop Will Eat Itself. The band started as a punky guitar band but transitioned into indie pop, hip hop and industrial music. Crabb left the drums to become a lead vocalist and the group had nine Top 40 hits in Great Britain. Crabb left the band in 1995 and PWEI disbanded in 1996. PWEI reformed briefly in 2005, and reformed again in 2010. Crabb is the only remaining original member; he is joined on vocals by Mary Byker (Gaye Bykers on Acid, Apollo 440, Pigface) and various available musicians. Pop Will Eat Itself's seventh album, Anti-Nasty League, was released on April 25, 2015.

New York's top promoter of industrial artists, Xris SMack, celebrated the seventh anniversary of his Stimulate monthly music events tonight by bringing Pop Will Eat Itself to Santos Party House, PWEI's first New York appearance in 20 years. After SMack's dj set, an American version of Pop Will Eat Itself took the stage after 1 a.m. The high energy duo of Crabb and Byker rapped, sang and bounced, but most of all the vocalists escalated SMack's raucous dance party. Crabb and Byker performed a razor-edged electro rock set that included humorous wordplay in "Wise Up! Sucker", "Can You Dig It?", "Everything's Cool", "Watch the Bitch Blow", "Digital Meltdown", " There Is No Love Between Us Anymore" and PWEI's commentary on Britain's immigrant policy "Ich Bin ein Ausländer." Credit must be given deservedly to the solid backing band, New Jersey's hard-rocking End of An Era, which backed the vocalists with thrash punk, hardcore dance, Goth industrial and sometimes noise-driven grooves. Crabb and Byker were the masterminds of this curious hybrid, and this time could spark a comeback for Pop Will Eat Itself.

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