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Purple Rhinestone Eagle at Vacation Vinyl, Friday April 22nd, 2011

It’s strange how music genres have been mixed, rediscovered with new combinations without sounding out of place. Listening to the Portland-based power trio Purple Rhinestone Eagle, who was playing at Vacation Vinyl on Friday night, I could tell the three girls were using one of these combinations, as they were playing heavy riffs definitively channeling heavy metal, but with a 70s-inspired psychedelic sound.

However, there was a wide variation inside their dark music, as Andrea Genevieve on vocals and guitar, Morgan Ray Denning on bass, and Ashley Spungin on drums were most of the time slowly building a sinister ear-destroyer sonic landscape with spacey pounding drumbeats, whereas, at other times, their songs were blasting a dark but fast and furious sound which could have well been borrowing from punk.

Wearing a Slayer tee shirt, Andrea Genevieve’s violently delivered vocals had this doomed tone, modulating like a 70s stoned trip, lost and scary at the same time, but never losing its powerful effect.

The trio formed in West Philadelphia in 2005, but relocated to Portland in 2007, and has released a full-length album ‘The Great Return’ last year on Stank House Records.

They played only four songs in the store but their Slayer-ized psychedelic-tripped out rock had visibly a strong effect on the crowd, who were enjoying the massive and obscure sound, full of ear-ringing potentials, and not usually played by young girls. I bet men find it sexy, as I saw a guy from the audience congratulating them with a large smile as I was leaving the store.


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