Real talk—this might be the last New Year's Eve we're ever going to have. A quick look at the news fills one with a keen sense of apocalyptic anxiety. Irrational and greedy politicians who suck at diplomacy in positions of power; the nuclear football in Trump's tiny, inept hands; lethal climate change; religious intolerance; the death of "truth"; and music-streaming services' gross avarice are all signaling end times.
Faced with this grim scenario, people can't help feeling like an ultimate decadent New Year's Eve experience is in order. Set aside your smug (if accurate) "it's amateur night" disdain for the last entertainment opportunity of the annum, and submit to the temptation to damn the torpedoes and rock out with your dignity in the dumpster. This is a job for Thunderpussy.
These four Seattle women—Molly Sides (vocals), Whitney Petty (guitar), Leah Julius (bass), and Ruby Dunphy (drums)—make rock music that's built for IDGAF id-liberating. Thunderpussy's songs make a beeline for your lizard brain and then impel you to bang the container in which said lizard brain sits. In this regard, they resemble the lubricious ruggedness of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin at their raunchiest, and the Runaways. No, it's not innovative, but Thunderpussy's hard rock slams with a classic AOR punchiness.
Their debut 7-inch for Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready's HockeyTalkter imprint proved they could earn the respect of rock's sort-of-old guard. McCready called Thunderpussy his favorite new band and dubbed "Velvet Noose," the A-side of their single (which is sold out), "an amazing and catchy rock song... Live, they have an incredible energy with amazing musicianship. All four women are as talented as they come."
With that stirring recommendation, Thunderpussy signing to major label Republic's Stardog subsidiary does not surprise. They have huge commercial potential. Even in a time when rock songs infrequently crack the Top 40, Thunderpussy could be the rare group to break through to mainstream success. Their instantaneous hooks, predilection for eye-catching garb, and flagrant charisma should translate into at least medium-sized stardom. That Thunderpussy could make "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," a holiday song from 1963, sound vital, boisterous, and non-saccharine bodes well for their future.
The band recorded their debut album—due in 2018—with acclaimed producer Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash). The lead single from it, "Speed Queen," is about as heavy as Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" and as adrenalized as Deep Purple's "Highway Star." Yes, it belongs in that lofty company, and it makes me want to hear what other power moves they've cooked up.
In a 2014 interview, The Stranger's Trent Moorman asked how Thunderpussy deal with a male-dominated society. Julius responded: "All four of us women do things that have historically been male-dominated. We play music, ride motorcycles, date girls, and lift heavy shit for a living. And we don't do them as a 'fuck you' to the male-dominated society, or in an attempt to advance women's rights, we do them because we can and want to."
That's a pure and righteous mission statement.