Chica Beauty

29 Jul

Any of you ever bother with punker bands in the mid 90’s? I didn’t, really. Ok so this one girlfriend back then once took me to see PENNYWISE someplace in Huntington Beach – got to meet gtrist Fletcher (ex CON/800) in person! She also took me to see THE OFFSPRING at the Hollywood Palladium, when TSOL’s Jack Grisham joined em on stage to do a rushed version of “Code Blue”. Yep I smiled alot watching all these clean cut guys struggle to recreate better bands from a more mythic era, but I admit left feeling, well . . . pretty damn cheap. I felt I’d spent an entire evening sipping a Michelob on a stool at a local chain restaurant, feigning interest in the nonsense chatter of the idiot on the next stool. The corporate-sponsored, extreme sport adrenaline-pop thing these bands flogged couldn’t even begin to approximate what had so excited me about HC punker stuff when I’d been a kid.

But a good one once did sneak up on me, unawares like . . . managed to creep past all my bogue art rock pretensions and faux-hippie affectations to dig sharp fangs into my jugular. It was a little ol’ band from Fort Wayne, Indiana who called themselves THE BEAUTYS.


THE BEAUTYS were a trio of drunken but actually head-screwed-on-right hicks from nowheresville, led by fearless gtrist/singer named Chica Baby. They played a brand of raging and totally infectious surf poppunk tunage in a manner THE LEAVING TRAINS might’ve, had Falling James been an actual girl, a decade younger, and a couple thousand miles east of LA. Could all of their burning speed and histrionic screaming been a vain attempt to piss off all the meathead jocks out in their audience? Maybe. In ’81 this woulda worked like a charm, but in ’98? No fucking way. By then, meathead culture had fully embraced Loolapalooza and Warped Tour mania, if only on the off chance they might get to oogle a stray boob or two.

But my ears told me Chica wasn’t bothered all that much. Like her punk forefathers/mothers, she just found louder harder faster to be the best, most natural way to get it all out of her system. Her not unsubstantial pipes could give pause to whatever testosterone dumbshits decided step up, and then some.

I really don’t got alot more to say about em, other than this: despite all the current short-sighted nostalgia and foolhearty longing for the economic boom years of Bill Clinton America, the later 1990s were a time when a lot of us were edged out of economic running for fucking ever. And THE BEAUTYS were integral to articulating what this outsider perspective was all about, in a language that got me up off my jaded ass, pumping my fist shamelessly to the beat. Chica, we’re still waiting for your next move, it’s gonna be a doozy.

THE BEAUTYS – “Some Things Never Change” (from Liquor Pig, Beeb Records, 1998)

THE BEAUTYS – “Don’t Show Me That” (from Thing of Beauty, Cheetah’s Records, 2001)

THE BEAUTYS – “Sweetheart, Sweetheart” (7″ 45, House O’ Pain Records Records, 1997)


2 Responses to “Chica Beauty”

  1. Max Deutsch August 27, 2009 at 2:54 am #

    Wherefore art thou? All of August with no pig state recon? That’s hard to bear. And the state might get piggier without the recon. That’s another consideration.

  2. wostprof March 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Chica has a great new band called Elky Summers.

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