The Breeders: Los Angeles Mr T’s Bowl

The Breeders are the antidote to the wretched state of music today...

Can you believe it has been seven years since The Breeders’ ‘Cannonball’ single became one of the most obtuse hits of the post-punk era? And since then? Shambolic shows, drug arrests, a fracture in the band. So, can The Breeders come back from the brink? Or more importantly, in this male-dominated angry-rock world, will people remember, and will they still care?

Well, if tonight is any evidence, the answer is ‘Yes!’ What started as a plan to play a rehearsal in front of 20 people, opening for a few local bands at this obscure venue in suburban LA, went awry somewhere. Instead, word of mouth and the internet have meant that Mr. T’s is jam-packed with expectant fans.

It may have been six years since the Deal sisters last played out as The Breeders, and tonight is the public debut of a new line-up, but some things haven’t changed. Kim still smokes like a chimney. The performance is, at times, endearingly rough around the edges. The jovial banter between Kim and Kelley and the crowd is still there. And most importantly, there are ‘the songs’.

As the band blast through a set of old chestnuts, a few choice Amps cuts, and even some new ones, it becomes all the more obvious that The Breeders are the antidote to the wretched state of music today. ‘No Aloha’ is gloriously dreamy, ‘Pacer’ a lo-fi guitar gem, while ‘Safari’ is buried in swathes of triumphant noise. And ‘Cannonball’? Just like you remember it. Even the new songs are up to the task – ‘Too Alive’ recalling the band’s quirkier side, and ‘Fire The Maid’ (with Kelley on lead vocal) is The Breeders at their rock best.

Three songs in, a fan shouts out “Yeah! The Breeders are back!” Never a truer word has been spoken.

Jason Reynolds