Material Girls


Material Girls only come out at night. The Atlanta sextet indulge in glam and goth while maintaining a percussive no wave edge on their new album Leather. It’s a pointed balance, but the combination comes naturally for these gutter dwelling creatures who cut their teeth on the sweaty Atlanta nightlife, and is enough to summon the ghosts of CBGB and Andy Warhol.

The 8 song record explodes with post-modern sleaze and over the course of 30 minutes, the band ride a wave of malaise towards a decrepit paradise. After a promising 4 song EP and a year spent touring, including a few dates supporting the B-52s’ Cindy Wilson, the gang is sharper than ever thanks to the addition of guitarist Robbie Rapp (Muuy Biien) and bassist Meghan Dowlen. The Siouxsie-inspired shrieks of Dowlen are a particularly sharp dagger in the Material Girls arsenal, which alternates between squalling psychedelia and apocalyptic post-punk. Echoes of Richard Hell and Pere Ubu flow through nihilistic lyrics, uncaged performances, and inventive riffs.

Leather is a study in contrasts, an illustration of Material Girls ability to deconstruct the tired tropes of punk while pushing DIY music to new heights of zoned in, drugged out chaos. On the surface, this experiment is artistic and abstract, but the visceral energy of Material Girls leaves no room for hazy intellectualism. They vomit on expectation with makeup smeared faces, toying with desire, and keeping the listener tied up in Leather.

(EXAG Records / Irrelevant Music )  


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Another band that catches our eye are Material Girls, a five-piece art punk collective from Atlanta. Instruments and vocalists are swapped throughout a set that’s equal parts Fat White Family style debauchery and Lydia Lunch affronted agit-pop.
— Under The Radar
Last up at were Atlanta’s Material Girls (pictured), whose mix of angular guitars, glam, disco and punk was one you don’t see as much anymore. Dressed alternately in giraffe print, velvet, suede and with open shirts, the fivesome churned out a captivating, dance-heavy set propelled by bass and disco hi-hats, all Gang of Four cowbell and hard rhythms. In the hot Cabaret, it became a sweaty dance party, a fitting way to end the second night of FME.
— Exclaim!
Despite catching Atlanta’s supercharged goth-punks Material Girls a few nights earlier in Toronto, I was barely prepared for their mind-blowing 1 a.m. FME set. As the quintet switched instruments and traded vocal duties, they conjured something in the ballpark of Birthday Party-era Nick Cave fronting an evil B-52s in a John Waters nightmare. Armed with squealing horns, noise slide guitar, and furious conga slaps, Material Girls delivered the standout performance of the festival weekend.
— Louder Than War
Material Girls, meanwhile, are as electrifying as live bands get. Shadowy singer Ben Presley is a truly compelling rock n’ roll frontman, born to be in the spotlight since there’s shades of Nick Cave and Fat Whites’ Lias Saoudi about him. But the show does not lean too heavily on one person; it does not become the Presley show. They rotate singers throughout so nearly everyone in the band appears to get the mic at some point. The best is kept to last: unassuming bassist Meghan Dowlen - who doggedly sticks to her position, keeping time and not facing the crowd at all all set until she’s given the mic - is up there with the greats of punk rock history. The Siouxsie Sioux-inspired frontwoman sparks the crowd into an even more violent mess of flailing limbs and sprayed beer reaction than it already is. A triumph from a band, who may have already toured a lot, but are more than likely going to become a lot bigger than they are. Hats off to FME for booking in these.
— Gigwise

Landmark Events

FME (2019)
CMW (2019)

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Cindy Wilson (B-52’s)
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Viagra Boys
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Control Top