Music » Critics' Picks

The Paybacks

Thursday, July 29; The Way Out Club


Some bands rock. Some even kick ass. Then there are those who deliver their sound with the loud, wet thwack of a baseball bat across the back of your head -- popping your eyes out of your skull like a lighter freeing a bottle cap -- then proceed to skull-fuck the empty sockets. The Paybacks are just such a band.

Hailing from garage-rock central, Detroit, the Paybacks play with fury and ferocity enough to make the Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer their bitch and knock Danzig on his ass. Led by singer/guitarist Wendy Case, the Motor City quartet roars through the neighborhood frequented by the Cynics, Billy Childish and the Stooges -- which is to say raw, primal garage that's nastier than the thoughts making the circuit of R. Kelly's mind. Case sings with a guttural growl most male singers would kill for and invests it with a rugged, back-alley sexiness that struts above the guitar grime the Paybacks lay down like some fiendish Hell-spawned despot. While their second album, Harder and Harder, is a hard-boiled slab of distortion and attitude, it only hints at the power and passion of their live performances. In this case, seeing is believing.

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