By Kat DaVille

Forget what your local scene has taught you about standing out and playing to the crowd. Forget everything school has taught you about social connections in an institutionalized setting. Forget what your mother taught you about manners. Forget the rules. Embrace your animal instincts and free yourself… from yourself.

Philly darlings Gash invoke these ideas and perform them in the most primal fashion possible. Their sexually charged shows unveil their ideology of reckless abandonment, inner turmoil and becoming the master of any given situation through extremely unconventional means. With these concepts transferred into song form, I couldn’t begin to tell you the barrage of emotions I felt when I saw them play: I was excited, uncomfortable, thrilled, confused, flabbergasted and uncertain. After all that, I ultimately felt release. Remind you something?

I must admit when I first saw them perform on the Lower East Side in NYC, I was taken aback by their ferocious attack in the opening song. The singer growled and snarled while the band hammered on their instruments, unleashing all their aggression in one loud sonic boom. As the show continued, I studied how they played. I learned this band is beyond portraying any textbook definition of the word “group.” They are a formidable gang, a crew of players and performers that breathe together as a singular, impenetrable unit. It’s almost symbiotic how they breathe together and transfer from song to song during their performance. Then, at the apex of their set, their lead vocalist, Tibbie X, releases her rational self and allows a different being to takeover. I saw a woman oozing with sex slither on the floor and move provocatively to the music while another woman (scantily clad and just as sexy) take full advantage of every position. Completely unapologetic and absolutely punk rock.

Gash describe themselves as S&M Punk, complete with a dominatrix on hand (courtesy of the wild and insatiable Domme Stephxecutioner). While their showmanship may overwhelm their songwriting, the players deserve the utmost praise for supplying the soundtrack to their Black Leather show. I especially appreciate how they convey their own personal emotions and struggles into their playing and share it with the audience. The guitar playing from Hit and AJ is as mean and raunchy as the show itself. The drums from Atom Riot thunderously supply the best backbone possible for the song structure. The dynamic bass lines from Travis Travesty are the humble glue that keeps it all together. These guys understand their place in the show, and they perform with bravado and unpredictability.

Gash might not be for everyone; the show at some points may be graphic and, perhaps, at times, too overwhelming to process. Not many people are secure in their own skin, especially not in their own sexual identity. The mere idea of talking about sex in any fashion often becomes taboo. It makes people uncomfortable since the act itself is very personal and a large part of what makes us sentient human beings. Sharing that concept requires a lot of self-awareness, self-analysis, clear communication and experimentation. However, I applaud Gash for being themselves and showing the masses that true individual freedom in any form is attainable. Just be prepared to endure the Pain, experience the Pleasure, and finally attain personal Liberation.

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