Bootleg Theater Presents
Upset, NO WIN
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
This event is 21 and over
We are a rock band of rockers who love to rock. We also can be just one person who is much quieter but still loves to rock.
For the past few years, Ali Koehler has been best known as the drummer of the pop group Best Coast and the noisy girl punk trio Vivian Girls. After her departure from Best Coast, Koehler decided to step up from behind the kit to front a band of her own, embracing her melodic punk-spirited songwriting impulses with Upset. Joined by Patty Schemel (of Hole) on drums and Jennifer Prince on lead guitar and vocals, Upsetwill release its massively hooky debut record, She's Gone, this fall.
With 12 songs in just under 30 minutes, it's a pop-punk album that immediately sounds classic, full of unshakeable hooks and the sincerest of shouts. It is fitting that She's Gone will see a release with Don Giovanni Records; the record could easily fit in the record collections of Ergs or Lemuria fans. She's Gone was recorded primarily at Koehler's house in April of 2013 by Kyle Gilbride of Swearin'.
As a songwriter, Koehler draws on the snarky angst and punk simplicity of her previous bands, with a delivery that masks angry and cheeky lyrics with a sweet-sung and wide-eyed infliction. She's Gone opens with "Back To School," conveying that sense of first-day anxieties and uncertainty that comes with a return to an old routine. "First day back's a heart attack," Koehler sings. It's an intro to the sort of personal and relatable lyrics she sings throughout, full of anxious introspection. "Game Over" (written and sung by Jenn Prince) is bored and angsty, channeling distant vox and 90s-indebted noise-pop guitars; "Never Wanna" is an urgent and impatient earworm. "I just don't know what to do / I can't stop thinking of you," Koehler sings.
"Queen Frosteen" uses childlike, upbeat rhymes and a sticky chorus to set up her indictment of a friendship gone wrong. "When she sets the scene / it's a sugarcoated fantasy," she sings, in a way that's so overly sugar-sweet, it almost sounds sarcastic. "Queen Frosteen, my enemy / she's everything and I'm nobody / Queen Frosteen, my enemy." The closing track sounds similarly burned and pissed about it. "This was a lesson learned / this is goodbye," the band sings, girl-gang style. "That's not what friends are for."
She's Gone has moments of self-doubt and resonant angst ("I can't remember feeling worse than this," Koehler sings on "Oxfords and Wingtips") but it has a sense of humor about it as well; "About Me" even starts with a giggle. It's a sort of record that's not afraid to have sincere open-book, downer moments, but doesn't take itself too seriously.
L.A.'s No Win is the solo power pop project of Danny Nogueiras (he gets help from his friends for the stage). You might know him from his time drumming in FIDLAR but if you did know that it's best if you forget it because No Win doesn't sound like FIDLAR.
No Win played their first ever show in the summer of 2015 A.D. (and have subsequently played shows with good bands like FIDLAR ((of course!)) and Quarterbacks and others I have yet to write about for I am only one man) so there's still plenty of time to get in on the ground floor of this musical goodness.
[.....] I hope you like strong melodies and solid jingle jangle and a few well-placed “whoa oh ohs" to keep things positive and sunny and bouncing. I know I sure do."
-Patrick McNamara, Oh My Rockness