Dec. 17 • The Comet

Dec 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm

For anyone who thinks weirdly heavy (and heavily weird) music is the exclusive domain of testosterone-addled menfolk, HotChaCha come roaring out of Cleveland’s city limits with amps-to-11 proof to the contrary, answering the largely unasked question, “What would Sonic Youth sound like if Thurston Moore, Steve Shelley and Lee Renaldo were women?” Or maybe Siouxsie Sioux and Perry Farrell had a daughter and raised her on Noise Rock and steroids. Or Brian Eno and David Bowie played X-Ray Spex albums obsessively during their Berlin phase. Or, quite possibly and more likely, HotChaCha is simply four cool women from Cleveland who decided to play whatever their quirky hearts desired at blistering volume and with heart-stopping intensity.

HotChaCha assembled on the North Coast three years ago when guitarist Mandy Aramouni and vocalist Jovana Batkovic (who appeared in The Black Keys video for “Your Touch”) recognized the power of their potential, invited drummer Lisa Paulovcin into the fold and jammed for three months before playing their first gig at a benefit for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Bassist Heather Gmucs saw the band’s debut and offered her services, completing the lineup.

The following year saw the release of HotChaCha’s first EP, Rifle, I Knew You When You Were a Pistol, which garnered great reviews and earned them slots at the CMJ Music Marathon and Cincinnati’s own MidPoint Music Festival. The quartet recorded its first full-length, The World’s Hardest Working Telescope and the Violent Birth of Stars, and welcomed new drummer Roseanna Safos into the band just before the album was released.

This year has been a big one for HotChaCha, marked by a split cassette with Indianapolis band We Are Hex, a new EP, Fantastic Static, and an opening slot with The Breeders. Check all your girl-group preconceptions at the door and get ready to Rock out with some knockouts.