Piramid Scheme are a relatively new band from the D.C. area but front-person Lisa Said has been a mainstay of the local scene here for some time. She's now brought her formidable talents to this act, along with Darrien Day on bass and guitars and Andrew Toy on drums, to offer up forceful and assured post-punk. The group's debut release, the EP Get Rick Quick Too, drops on Friday, and it's a blast.
Opener "Bandwagon Jumping Machine" sees Lisa offer up a near-snarl, near-purr over top of a slinky riff that suggests something from Concrete Blonde, or even Marianne Faithfull, while the memorable "Next Hero" finds the band riding a rhythmic hook full of coiled tension. The cut illustrates the wonderful symmetry between these players, as does the poppy "Regular Guy", a track which has a great video from director Scott Crawford (Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC 1980-1990). Lisa's vocals on this one have an undeniable Patti Smith-like quality to them, and one can't help but favorably compare this song to stuff like "Glitter in Their Eyes" or similar numbers from Patti's Nineties Renaissance. Piramid Scheme close their EP with the blues-y strut of "Pay2Play", a selection that marries a guitar-figure like something off of a Radiohead record with a more insinuating approach to alt-rock, like those recent Afghan Whigs songs.
Centered as they are around the powerful vocals of Lisa Said, the tunes of Piramid Scheme are fresh additions to the rich musical history of this region. Get Rick Quick Too is out on Friday and I'd urge anyone who's a fan of Lisa Said, or the acts I mentioned in passing here in this review, to seek this release out and see the band when you can.
[Photo: Lynda Julie]