There are various reasons we’ve been losing our minds over Philly rock four-piece Full Bush these past couple years, but honestly, the biggest one might be how real they are.
Sure, they’ve got awesome moments of cheeky and clever commentary. They deservedly take down busted dudes in “Ill Tempered,” with indomitable vocalist Kate Breish hysterically running down a litany of shortcomings (“your mom still pays for your phone, you’re a virgin, and you can’t drive”) over wiry punk arrangements from guitarist Jayne Rutter, bassist Cassie O’Leary, and drummer Adesola Ogunleye. Meanwhile, the amazing garage rocker “Ray’s” looks to the famed South Philly dive for cathartic release from work-life ennui and toxic people in a gang-vocal shoutalong: “I! JUST! WANNA! GET! FUCKED UP!”
It’s catchy, it’s fun, it’s funny. But Full Bush are so much more than a funny band.
Spend any amount of time with their self-titled debut, released last year, and you’ll find many moments on the less snarky, more introspective side of things. Their songs can be candid, true-to-life, and an unafraid reflection of the down-to-earth Philadelphians who made them.
If we look at the mid-record slow-burner “Deserve” unironically, it’s a testament of unencumbered devotion; if we consider it beyond face value, it could call into question the fantasy idea of love. Interestingly, it totally works either way you read it. Later on, the song “Someone” — which the band shut down their Key Studio Session with a powerful performance of — reflects on the various conflicting perceptions others can have of a single person, how none of them are true and all of them are true. The hook “I’m addictive, I’m seductive, I am hidden,” speaks to this complexity of identity, the roles people (particularly women) are forced play for those around them, and as the distortion pedal rager roars to a close, it seems to suggest embracing the spectrum of them might be key.
The Key Studio Session that the band recorded debuts two more songs that further showcase the sensitive (but no less badass) side of Full Bush’s songwriting: the soaring romantic rocker “Wild Heart” and the gritty and gripping “Sweet N Low,” where Breish speak-sings the story of a relationship turned destructive, and one person who yearns to put it together: “tell me how to love you, tell me what to say / tell me how to touch you, tell me how to stay.”
Watch a video of that song below, and listen to an archive of Full Bush’s entire Key Studio Sessions performance via Soundcloud. The band kicks off a string of springtime shows tonight at The Tusk on South Street, and plays Ortlieb’s, Forest & Main, and two NYC gigs on their way to a Connie’s Ric Rac show on May 11th. Get the full itinerary here.
Full Bush, The Key Studio Sessions