Dancing French Liberals of ’48
at the Middle East Cafe
by Scott Hefflon
Anyone who calls ’em pretty punkpop has never seen these boys live. Not to imply they’re trolls or anything, I just mean that they’re fast as fuck and harder than a porn star’s cock. The Dancing French Liberals of ’48 (jeez,whatta a mouthful) ripped through song after song with a minimum of stage banter. They let the music speak for itself. And scream a mile a minute it did. Drums like a souped-up muscle car with the pedal to the floor, a bassist reaching all over the fretboard with splits and acrobatics that would earn an Olympic gymnast’s respect, and two blurry-handed guitarists who could teach the young ‘uns a lesson or twenty about how to play punk rock. Everyone sings. Pretty damn well, too.
This would probably be a good time to mention that the band used to be The Gits, until the still-unsolved rape and murder of charismatic singer Mia Zapata. The Gits totally rocked. Her death affected fans across the country, and benefits are still being held to fund the ongoing investigation. Joan Jett became involved and lends voice to “In A Past Life.” Her support continues with the performance of Mia’s lead parts on the upcoming release, Evil Stig (Read it backwards).
The current album, Powerline (Broken Rekids/Revenge), shows the strengths of the remaining members (and additional guitarist Julian Gibson). Even if you didn’t know the history, The Dancing French Liberals of ’48 still rock hard as shit. They’re tight, intricate, passionate and more melodic than you’ll ever be in the shower. Song after song of hook-filled harmonies and raw guitar blowing doughnuts in your brain; I’d say they overcame the tragedy well. They came out smiling and with positive energy.