The “girl” band includes Stephanie Rearick (from left), Anne Bull, Lorrie Hurckes Dwyer and Brent George.
To the Nines, a brand-new release from Madison’s lo-fi garage quartet Ladyscissors, showcases a mature yet exuberant sound.
The album is packed with jangly, gritty pop that invites comparisons to confessional ’90s queen Liz Phair and pioneering avant-garde rockers the Velvet Underground.
Ladyscissors is a band of experienced women — and one man — who are rocking harder as the years go by.
“I like being a girl band,” says Stephanie Rearick, the group’s drummer, vocalist and chief lyricist. “And it does feel a little tongue-in-cheek because we’re all pretty much full-fledged grownups.”
Ladyscissors formed in 2008 after Rearick and guitarist Brent George began playing with guitarist Lorrie Hurckes Dwyer. Rearick, a classically trained pianist with an established solo career, took her first stab at drumming with the band. The band added bassist Anne Bull a year later, and released their debut, Glitterbox, in 2014.
To record To the Nines, the band holed up in a cabin near Minocqua for a weekend, a sharp contrast to the process for their first release. “We just went away for three nights and all we did was hang out and record,” says Hurckes Dwyer. “We were more immersed in it.”
The result is a smoother, more cohesive sound than what resulted from the one-off recording process for Glitterbox, she says.
Released on Madison’s Uvulittle Records, founded by Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse owners Rearick and Jon Hain, To the Nines stirs together punchy pop with harmonies and fuzzy guitars.
“Hot Potato Sweet Potato,” a head-bopper with a Seussian rhyme scheme, is featured in the first video for the record, starring tubers (and a shifty Mr. Potatohead) in various permutations alongside the band, dressed in signature black, white and red outfits.
The surf-tinged ditty “Glitterbox” shares a name with the band’s debut record. The title is also emblazoned on the band merch — red and black underpants.
Ladyscissors puts down their instruments for “Boom De Yada,” an a cappella doo-wop round that celebrates love for the great outdoors. A rousing horn solo by Rearick marks the standout slow rocker “Swampy.” To the Nines closes with an earnest cover of Modest Mouse’s “The World at Large.”
Ladyscissors will release To the Nines on March 11 at the High Noon Saloon at 5 p.m. Reverend Rectifier & the Sinners will play an opening set.