Local Wire

Blanche Davidian

Singer Jamie Monistat VII takes his name from a vaginal cream. The drummer goes by the equally crass moniker Hugh Jass. The band's name, of course, is a take on the Waco cult tragedy of a decade ago, and its album art takes a not-so-subtle dig at former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Yup, the Valley newcomers of Blanche Davidian are rockers for the wise-ass high-school mind. Fortunately, however, they rock like motherfuckers. In a rare feat, they marry the glam irony of New York Dolls, the chug-a-lug of Motorhead, and the rhythm of Public Image Ltd. (Johnny Rotten's sorta disco project after the Sex Pistols). What a mess, and what a rush! The songs on Attack of the Killer are, in fact, killer, swinging with purpose and energy. They build themselves from the interplay between the marble-mouthed, sexually-charismatic Monistat (a Tasmanian devil dressed onstage in tux tails, tights and eyeliner) and guitarist Mike Hawk, whose riffs are swift and whose solos are ridiculously athletic.

The lyrics may be unintelligible, but it's hard to argue that Blanche Davidian's sound doesn't match the spirit of song titles like "Oedipal Complexions," "A Genitalia Ballot," "Hetian Queen" and "Robotussin." Gotta love the names! The group rises during a time when shtick is regaining steam after a long dormancy. Unlike, say, the Vines, these guys at least prove that sounding dumb and writing great, challenging songs don't have to be mutually exclusive.