Planet What: Maggie Fingers
by Madison Deyo, shot by Charlotte Bumgarner
Garage-punk has been evolving and adapting with the times since it first emerged in the 60’s, and Tulsa, Oklahoma's’ Planet What are a prime example of what the genre has to offer in the 21st century. Blending together gritty, electric guitar chords and fuzz-toned vocals, Planet What reshapes the classic, early 90’s grunge energy of bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains with in your face feminist power-vocals that would make Sonic Youth and Bikini Kill proud of the newest era of punk-rock monarchs.
Founded by Kylie Slabby (guitar / vocals), Jeanette Derubeis (guitar / vocals) and Dylan Eubanks (drums) in December of 2016, Planet What have released two studio EP’s so far. Angus Yarn, (January 2018) has been followed by Maggie Fingers (September 2018) which is available to stream on Spotify. This band is self-defined as Chicago grunge and sludge surf, the ideal combination of sounds to create a new brand of up-and-coming rockers.
Maggie Fingers (2018) recalls the original sounds of garage-punk by combining the classic elements of a hard, steady-beat paired seamlessly with the abrasive strums of an electric guitar. The album opens with Kelly 33, a song capable of relocating the listener to an internalized grunge-fest in their own minds. With muffled vocals singing in tones ranging from empathetic to an emotional cataclysm, the eerie and airy quality the vocals occasionally manifest leave the listener with shivers down their spine.
Le Garçon Rat dives right into an dreary but emotional swirl of fuzz-toned vocals broken up with gritty guitar solos. Planet What created their own music video to accompany the song, featuring Kylie and Jeanette cloaked in stark red light as they psychedelically rock out in a bathroom. The trippy cross-cutting technique and use of abrasive colored lighting that dramatically shifts into a strobe-light effect echoes the intensity of the song itself.
The album takes a more aggressive punk-rock turn when it transcends into Meat Scissors, a title that accurately reflects the head-banging quality the song evokes. With a supernatural, electronic intro followed directly by an energetic shred of chords, this song hits right at the heart of modern punk. The closing of the song echoes the striking heavy-hitting energy evoked throughout it. Timing in at 1:44, the song is foot-stomping, head-banging, explosion of punk rock energy.
This album is a foreshadowing note of what Planet What have in store of the world of punk-rock music. Set to perform at the unofficial SXSW showcase, this trio of garage-punk heroes are what's next in store for the contemporary alternative scene.
from the photographer: I had the honor of taking these pictures of Planet What, Tulsa’s best girl band ever. These women have helped me feel more comfortable as a young female performer in a predominantly male scene and I could never fully thank them enough for that! I don’t know where I’d be musically without them. Check out their music and see them on tour if you can! planetwhat.bandcamp.com