Feast sound like a cross between two of the best bands ever, Black Sabbath and Bikini Kill. Their press release even notes the local four-piece’s “combination of primitive heavy metal and riot grrrl ideology.” Ideology aside, there’s no doubt that imposing frontwoman Clare Amory projects her amazing vocals, hits all the high notes, and screams sardonically in a fashion reminiscent of BK’s 1993 Pussy Whipped. Besides her scary-proficient headbanging, splits, high kicks, dramatic stumbles off the stage, sticking of her head in the bass drum, etc., Amory, a trained dancer, can really open her mouth wide, eating-the-microphone style, and sing (she’s the daughter of an opera singer).
In terms of sussing out any clear ideology, Feast’s lyrics are often yelled and shrieked with such passionate abandon that it’s not always easy to identify them. At the Local last month, the exception was the loud and clear “MOTHERFUCKER!” ringing out twice in “It Takes One to Know One,” plainly the band’s signature song, during which the three standing members dropped to the floor, writhing, after the death march opening chords. (Amory punctuated this very physical number with a calm address to the audience: “I got my nails done for the first time tonight . . . little diamonds!” Her nails were red with, yes, diamonds—and black hearts.) Similarly furious was the set opener, “Go Fuck Yourself,” an invective about condoms and dudes who won’t wear them. “Listen, boy, you’ve got to get past your own head/Or else it’s you who’s gettin’ aborted,” vowed Amory.
The other members of the band certainly aren’t shy about calling attention to themselves: Guitarist Ezra Feinberg casually took the stage in yellow short-shorts, pink socks, blue wristbands, and a red headband, while drummer Fiore Tedesco appeared in only white, dragon-emblazoned Speedos, and bassist Dane Risch (a freelance model) wore a genteel waistcoat. Yet Amory is the kind of charismatic person who makes one feel, as one audience member remarked, that “she’s the only performer onstage.”
Their badass ’70s-metal guitar sound is another reason Feast are totally unboring (and Feinberg doesn’t shy away from solos, either). The muddy thrash never gets dull; anthemic and even sometimes pop melodies kick in but never overwhelm. Black Sabbath and AC/DC are their obvious, stated influences, but there’s Led Zeppelin, too—”We Got Moves (And So Do I),” the bitchin’ long last number, was so “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” in its series of breakdowns that at one point it felt like a cover. (That they can so well approximate Zep is a wicked compliment!) Feast dispense with irony in their approach to the music they love: Their metal trappings are not an aesthetic joke. But it’s their bridging of that classic sound with early-’90s feminist stylings that makes them stand out from generic heavy-rock dude bands.