London WC2 LA2

It's the girls with guitars who make most noise...

London WC2 LA2

As the last chords of [a]Kittie[/a] fade into a faint ringing in the ears, a gaggle of boys in tentative eyeliner and parent-provoking fishnet stagger outside to find daylight still reigns. They recoil in horror, fearful for their creature-of-the-night pallor. "Must... have... darrrknesss!" one growls. Then they collapse in laughter.



Clearly, the angst offered by Cannuck teens [a]Kittie[/a] is as long-lasting as a stick of Juicy Fruit - attend the gig, feel like you've spent an evening with [a]Korn[/a] at a Spanish Inquisition theme pub, fulfil your alienation imperative, sleep the sleep of the cleansed. It's easy to see why taking it more seriously might be problematic.



For a start, you could mock Morgan Lander's Tom-Waits-does-Britney decision to sing like Max Cavalera, not so much her natural inner voice as a bulk buy from the attitude cash-and-carry. You could laugh at the fact they say "thank you very fucking much!" even though they're managed by their dads. You could certainly call 'Charlotte' or 'Brackish' a turgid grind, Krazy Kolor defiance masquerading as post-Columbine fury.



You could and should do all that - yet given that Daphne & Celeste are now fjted as paragons of teenhood by adult people who have suppressed their schoolyard terrors, and young girls are sucked into a boy-band vortex from which they never return, [a]Kittie[/a] are, bizarrely, a useful alternative.



Their role models are the hairiest, loudest, [I]ugliest[/I] of men, and the fact they see nothing amiss in aping them is oddly heartening. The audience is packed with girls leading docile boyfriends by the hand, and they look like they're having more fun than they ever would with Sleater-Kinney. [a]Kittie[/a] might not be PJ Harvey - hell, they're not even Courtney Love - but they're definitely not Hepburn. Depressingly, the song remains the same on both sides of the stage, as glabrous morons at the back yell traditional gynaecological insults.



It's the girls with guitars who make most noise though. Shouting the loudest, drowning them out.

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