A REVIEW BY BOB CHIARITO
Judging from the amount of attention GRLwood has received in only two years of existence, it won’t be long before fans long for the days where they are playing small clubs, for surely bigger festivals and venues are only a stone’s throw away.
On Friday night in Chicago, the Louisville-based scream-pop duo played a sold-out show at Sleeping Village in front of some who knew them but more who took notice and know them now.
Lead singer/guitarist Rae Forester and drummer/vocalist Karen Ledford are currently in a 25-date tour of the U.S., opening for avant-garde Los Angeles by-way-of Philadelphia band Man Man, but on this night, all belonged to them.
Playing a 45-minute set, GRLwood dedicated half their set to their newly released second album, “I Sold My Soul To The Devil When I Was 12,” which dropped August 17 on sonaBLAST! Records. The other half they played songs off their rawer debut “Daddy.” Both are filled with dreamy pop and enraged shrieks, with lyrics that are at certain times satirical and at all times pissed off.
I saw them four months ago in Milwaukee and while that show rocked, the improvement of the overall show from just a few months ago was vast. Forester and Ledford owned the crowd, at times making them laugh with their banter. They also are incorporating more hypothetical dialogue with the characters in many songs before fully going into the music than in the past, giving a feeling of performance art to go along with straight up banging-rock.
Many of their songs address themes like heteronormativity and conventions of gender expression, as well as standard rock and roll rebellion against parents and the status quo. With both women still in their 20s, it will be interesting to see how the duo evolves musically in the future. For now, however, GRLwood continues to do their thing and blow the roof off of small joints — with larger ones sure to come.
GRLwood returns to Sleeping Village November 16. For for information, click here.