Quit Your Job (& Go  On Tour)

Local trio the Assault contrasts rough, rudimentary rock with ethereal, almost girl-groupish harmonies. 7/7/07


After firing off a few warning shots of heavy rock, the Assault wanted to know if anyone hanging out at the Dive Bar on Friday liked Motorhead. The three-member garage punk outfit from Brooklyn loves its Motorhead, but the audience was more interested in the drummer. "I wanna see the drummer naked!" belched a voice from a dark corner. Whoever the voice came from, he repeated himself a few times.

Now, no one's saying that it's hard to understand his sentiment: Drummer Julie Pop is a voluptuous redhead who hits the drums with more joyful abandon than an Herbal Essences model. And the whole band dresses like hookers from the '70s (they make it look fashion-forward). It'd be kind of a New York Dolls thing except the members of the Assault are real girls. If the band does have a spiritual mother from that era, it's Blondie -- for their disregard of both genre (they turn everything from psych rock to metal to a bloody pulp) and dress code. Most scandalous was Laura Leontine, in a very little black dress and bleached white hair to match her white, headless bass.

So, with a meatier sound than the three opening bands... it was probably a lot for booze-befuddled audience members to handle. Trouble was, the Assault now had to decide how to handle their audience.

In this post-feminist era nobody wants to ruin anyone's fun by getting all didactic, and the Assault are not a band to wear their riot grrrl merit badges on their sleeves. So, at first frontwoman Margot Bianca tried to suffer the fool sex-positively, and joined in admiring her hot drummer. Pop directed the drunk bastard to avail himself of his imagination. Eventually she had to break it down for the audience that was starting to support the heckler, "You guys, the thing is, I'm here to drum. I'm here to rock. I'm not here to be naked."

After that the Assault got back to pouring out the guitar sludge and sloppy-sweet harmony. Halfway through the set, they had to bring their lanky Naomi-Watts-look-alike tour manager Caroline onstage to sing because Bianca was feeling sick, but it was still good times. Caroline was ready for the Assault. Dive Bar wasn't.


Maybe it is my soft spot for the ladies, or maybe it is my soft spot for rock. Either way the Assault comes through with an amazing 7" that leaves you wishing they had a full-length. This three-song gem is pressed on gold vinyl and is a must for anyone who is pimp'in out his or her record collection. With haunting vocals, pop hooks, and fast drumming, each member brings her own identity. This band isn't scared of you loving them. R.M.I.Y.L Sleater Kinney, Joan Jett, and Motorhead.

It's Saturday night in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, and the kids in the back room of Trash are swigging Pabst from cans and "rocking out" to the Assault, a glammy local punk-metal trio given to winking Motörhead covers. The scene is familiar - except that the women onstage, in addition to their regulation hot pants and high heels, are wearing individually customized T-shirts emblazoned with the words FUCK BUSH. It's a provocative double entendre.
- Will Hermes, SPIN MAGAZINE

Local ladies the Assault sting with slightly glammish shamble-punk, to the right of early Patti Smith and to the left of early Patty Smythe...
- Chuck Eddy, The Village Voice

Best band you've never heard of
... Sororities like this - hard playing with a punk aesthetic and a bit of glam - call for a re-assessment of the Greek scene. ... The agony. The humanity. The sarcastic perfection.
- Dorothy Robinson, Metro NY

The Assault were by far the highlight of the night. I was able to talk to members of the band before and after their set. They were refreshingly down to earth and free from having that musician chip on their shoulders... Changing into dresses and high heals for their set, the Assault, I am sure, captured the imaginations of the metal fans in the crowd. As the Assault opened up, I watched the collective faces of the crowd and could see and feel an aura of "holy shit" on thier faces. Drummer Julie Pop was ferocious on her kit, Laura Leontine played a mean bass and Margot Bianca's guitar skills were versatile.

The band's metal, folk, punk and blues influences were very apparent through out the set. In some songs, you could hear a little of each. The Assault almost magically combine all of these influences into an entertaining set, playing songs off their albums (some of which are available from their website). Equally amazing was that all members sang in some songs, each bringing a voice and personality to a song. As the show progressed, band members seemed to go from nervous to loose, often bantering with the crowd. After their set was finished, the crowd wanted more, something I have never witnessed at the Bug Jar. The band plugged their instruments back in and finished their set with a blistering Motorhead cover.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a band I have featured here at MaM go over so well to a sometimes finicky crowd at the Bug Jar. While I have seen comparisons to Sleater-Kinney, and early riotgrrl bands, the Assault have a sound unique to themselves.
- Jason Wilder, mysteryandmisery.com