The entrance to Ham & Eggs is not immediately obvious to passersby, except by a yellow clapboard announcing its name, as well as a faded sign painted above the bar. Inside, patrons are greeted by two narrow and deep rooms, reminiscent of the venue The Smell in vibe. With bright hand-painted and collected signs collaged upon the walls and a stage set-up decked in white string lights and a pastel multi-fabric backdrop reminiscent of those utilized by local Los Angeles photographer Hobbes Ginsberg, Ham & Eggs definitely is the right space to be hosting a ladies night.
Bombón, a San Pedro-based surf rock trio, kicked off the evening with a set full of songs that stomped the line between surf rock and punk. With songs like “Somebody Told Me,” Bombón brought in traditional surf rock riffs à la Dick Dale, juxtaposed with fast and animated vocals, not unlike those of Kathleen Hanna. With Jerico Campbell showing her proficiency at fast beats and polished hits, Paloma Bañuelos laying down cool bass lines, Angela Ramos strumming like a burning dynamo, and all three musicians singing, Bombón was a cohesive, wild band to behold. Their closing song, “King Tut at The Beach” was an explosive surf rock track, with Ramos delivering fingerbleeding riffs peppered with sly picking, Bañuelos complementing with fast bass lines, and Campbell beating the track into submission.
Heathers crashed into their set with fast, uptempo jams like “I Don’t Wanna Be Adored.” With the interwoven vocals of guitarist Michael Francis and bassist Thom Lucero, Heathers created an unusual stage dynamic, with symbiotic sonic relationships helping to guide each song to its end. With Michael Wegener on drums, Heathers kept the punk sound they flirt with on most of their tracks. Especially good was their Pixies-inspired track “Frank,” which was full of feedback and on a few occasions Francis appeared to have lost control in the best possible way, going totally wild, with Lucero jumping in on the haunting and twisted lyrics about suicide and fear. Their closing song, “David,” was also exceptional in content and performance; it perfectly showcased Francis and Lucero’s range of vocal work, as well as the aggressive work of Wegener on drums, Lucero’s cool and steady bass, and Francis providing fresh and loud guitar riffs.
Wet & Reckless closed out the live show with a performance that danced between dreamy pop and chaotic noise Kim Gordon could get down with. Using percussive elements like tambourine along with the bass and guitar, they created some great build-ups and descents into explosive sound. Their songs all felt like cool sonic journeys, influenced by groups like Sonic Youth and even more punk like some of The Clash’s bluesier tracks. Their noisy stylings could even be liked to the energetic outpourings of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, with Emily Wilder’s guttural vocals and stage presence shaking the room. Along with Jessica Gelt on bass and Jalise Woodward working the drums, Wet & Reckless proved that their musical scope is large, and that their wield their power like that of a group meticulously enacting a controlled burn.