It’s going to be a long time before any of us can hit a mosh pit — elbows, hair and sweat flying as a band tears across a makeshift stage. The press of bodies, electric. The euphoria high. Lucky for us, Mexican-American punk icon Alice Bag has gifted listeners with a zap of punk rock energy in the form of “Spark,” a new song off her upcoming album, Sister Dynamite.
The song starts off hot with blaring guitars and clashing drums, your prototypical riot grrrl rip. “I’m a little too strange/a little too kooky…in my thrift store clothes and Day-Glo hair I’m happy to just be queer,” Bag crows, her voice ageless and forever cool. (The video notably stars Vander Von Odd, the Season 1 winner of competitive drag show Dragula, whose spellbinding lip-sync performance doubles as a gothic makeup tutorial.)
“And even when I try to be normal/I always miss the mark/Hell no, I’m not dimming my, I’m not dimming my spark,” Bag proclaims in the chorus — the simplicity of the message (“Stay weird, kids!”) refreshingly cut and dried. Bag can rage against the machine with the best of them, but here she’s delivering us a giddy, joyful break — an anthem for anyone who feels more than a little depleted by the overwhelming complexities of modern existence.
“Spark” could have come out in 1970 or 1997 — and not because it sounds dated. It’s timeless, pure, kick-in-the-pants rock and roll, and thank God for that. Bag has been keeping her spirits up during the COVID-19 era by conducting workouts on Instagram — and “Spark” is the distillation of her technicolor perma-optimism. Sister Dynamite is due out for release April 24 via In the Red.
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