"Through literacy you can begin to see the universe. Through music you can reach anybody. Between the two there is you, unstoppable." – Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane
It’s been said that some of the greatest stories told are those which come from heartache or heart throb. And these stories are great because so many people can relate to the emotions most viscerally as if ripped from the pages of their own life. As I stood at Aqua Lounge in Beverly Hills on that particular Wednesday prepared to listen to the Los Angeles-based all-female rock band aptly named Anatomy of Her (AOH), I didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t think I would relate. In truth, as a classically trained pianist with a predilection for pop, I’m not much of a hard rock enthusiast – I was there to purely support the guitarist, back up vocalist and co-founder of AOH, Erin Earl, who doubles as manager of our local restaurant/bar, Piknic. I went with an open mind and heart. The moment they took the stage, I was pulled in – the sounds, rhythm and vocals were nothing short of awesome. The music has soul; a raw, edgy undertone that complements an essence of feminine power, vulnerability and natural sensuality (yes!) and when I tuned into the lyrics I immediately connected to the stories told, of pain and loss, love and passion, life’s purpose. AOH spoke to me and clearly to the audience which jumped to their feet in response to their stirring performance.
Rounding out the rock quartet, Nikki Graveline (Drums and co-founder of AOH), Bree Earl (Bass) and Denise Lorraine (Lead Vocals), AOH live by their motto everyday – Fight to Dream. “We take all that we’ve been through in our lives which, between the four of us, is a lifetime of 'throwing-your-life-away' and turn it into a fight! A fight for our life to be about our dream; music,” said Erin Earl.
A dream they shared with their established and new fan base as they rocked the house with a rousing, powerful repertoire conveying passion and dexterity chock full of driving bass lines, killer guitar riffs and commanding percussion.
Opening the set with 'Beneath the Surface’ the band was effusive, filling the intimate space with vibrations reminiscent of female rock icon Joan Jett. Flawlessly belting out her vocals, Lorraine followed with ‘Fading Away’ the band’s personal favorite (written by the lead vocalist recounting the end of a particularly difficult relationship).
“I wanted to be the one to fix all of his problems but that was impossible because we were both heading in different directions, like the song says we were fading away,” said Lorraine. “The bridge is my favorite -- I tried to erase them, but I can't be your savior.”
Lorraine admits she writes from a place of wanting to preserve the pain and hurt as not to forget the people and experiences in her life. The haunting words of Hotel California come to my mind, ‘…some dance to remember, some dance to forget…’
Halfway through the performance we came to cover ‘Love Song’ by the Cure which further endeared them to the audience as they cheered and danced. By virtue of sheer virtuosity and an innate connection between the instrumentalists and vocalists themselves, they rampaged through ‘Falls to Pieces’, ‘Get Down’, ‘Steal Your Body’ and set finale ‘Army’ (inspired by Flyleaf) which tells a tale of finding a higher purpose in life beyond the ignorance and blindness that can consume. I want to be free from the guilty and mindless, loveless and blindness. Call me into your Army.
In the end, I stood inspired and impacted by the sounds and soul of AOH – a fan overnight with a new appreciation for hard rock and these female rockers who tell like it is.
“There’s nothing we want more than to make music our career. We live and breathe music, so that would be a dream come true. We're hoping to hear ourselves on the radio one day soon and be out touring the country,” says Lorraine.
What’s next for the fab four who recently signed with record manager Golden Leaf Records – a recording of the band’s favorites and a career making relationship with a major record label.
In this humble writer’s opinion, Anatomy of Her has what it takes to make their mark in the all-female rock band landscape, breaking barriers along the way in their fight to dream …and win.
Catch the next performance of Anatomy of Her August 30th, at 10:30 pm at Skinny’s Lounge, 4923 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601. For more information email [email protected] or visit Anatomy of Her Facebook.