Sometimes, you go to a show and watch a band. Sometimes, you get your face painted mid-song by a 7-foot sasquatch. Guess which experience we had.
Not much is known about PPL MVR, the brand new band that is made up of three genuine, untamed sasquatches and their three human handlers. They primarily communicate in grunts and growls, and their lore already runs deep enough that they’re only seen in “sightings.” After a garage rock buildup from Oil Boom and Cerebral Ballzy, the Highline Ballroom got much more than a sighting for the yetis’ NYC debut.
The One & Only PPL MVR are a whole new kind of freaky, underground punk – and by underground, I really do mean digging up fossils and living in caves. There’s little evidence they came from our world, other than a gorgeously distorted cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” and some audible nods to Devo. As their frontsquatch, SNWBLL, shredded his fang-shaped guitar, the full group lurched in time, stomping their (appropriately) big feet. Meanwhile, his tan-furred counterpart clobbered a 2-string bass. Why? It’s not like we can really ask them.
There was no wink to the crowd, and at no point did it feel like a gimmick. Any notion of costumes was gone in minutes. The way SNWBLL extended his blue hands out over us, it was clear they were real ancient creatures, here to tell us a prophecy. Maybe they grabbed drums and guitars just to mimic our culture, and communicate with us in our native tongue. Whatever their cause, the beasts easily held our attention with their killer riffs, pounding drums, and nonstop snarls.
Then, we got baptized. PPL MVR literally started moving people when SNWBLL jumped off the stage to rearrange the crowd in a circle. He blessed us in turn, decorating our faces with tribal patterns in smeared white paint. His touch was surprisingly gentle, and there was tenderness to his words when he roared, “YOU. ARE. CHOSEN.” As one of the chosen ones in the crowd put it, “It’s going to take me a few hours to process this.”
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos/Video: Shayne Hanley