Cities of Origin: Riverside, Pomona, Covina
Members: Vanessa Soto (vocals); Dana Reed (guitar); Amy Kirk (bass/vocals); Jennifer Reyes (drums)
Recent Release: Moscow (self-released; coming this summer)
Kindred Spirits: Berlin, Siouxsie and the Banshees, rainy nights, Bjork, Bauhaus, reverb-drenched guitars
Hop on to Moscow’s MySpace page, stream a couple tracks and you’ll quickly realize that they’re anything but the flimsy kitsch and novelty labels that are stereotypically ascribed to numerous all-female bands far too often. The songwriting? Perfectly pensive. The musicianship? More than competent. The presentation, the passion, the allure? It’s all present.
Yet, should the fact that they’re lacking a Y chromosome be grounds for giving them some sort of hall pass in the music scene? Probably not so much, if you ask bassist Amy Kirk.
“Our vision is to be one of the few all-girl bands that are appreciated as simply being musicians, without the word female tacked onto the front,” Kirk says, adding that the band’s been influenced by and respects many all-female acts. “This is one of the biggest things that make us different. We pride ourselves in the fact that we do not fall into any stereotype associated with female rock bands nowadays, and hope to one day bury this stereotype and take another step up to be where we should be—categorized by our music, not our gender.”
Three-fourths of Moscow connected in 2004, though its line-up wasn’t realized ’til masterful pipes of vocalist Vanessa Soto arrived last June. Affixing themselves to Russia’s capital (it was an inside joke that stuck, and no . . . none of ‘em have ever been there), the Inland Empire quartet launched its successful campaign to appeal to listeners’ emotions, insights, dreams and thoughts. “We want to move you in some way, not just emotionally either—we like to make you dance too,” says Kirk.
And don’t worry about the downtrodden haze that surrounds the act’s captivating compositions—these gals ain’t party poopers. “It is safe to say that we all have our dark, deep and introspective sides, but none of us are like that all the time,” Kirk clarifies. “Anyone that has hung out with us knows that we Moscow girls know how to have a good time!”
Moscow at the Elks Lodge, 695 E. Foothill Blvd., Pomona. Friday, May 30.