NEW EViL is a Los Angeles based punk rock band formed by lead vocalist Sophia Anita Reyes and guitarist Ian Bishop. After a previous incantation of the band, called Cleopatra and the Alchemist, ran its course, drummer Patrick Nagy joined Reyes and Bishop along with bassist Nate Cohen to create the present four-piece lineup of NEW EViL. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2014, followed by a sophomore effort in 2015 titled II. NEW EViL’s latest full-length album, A Witch Shall Be Born, was released early this year. It is from this latest album that NEW EViL has launched a music video single of the third track, titled “Pale Skin Latin Girls”.
From a musical standpoint, NEW EViL demonstrates all the qualities of a fully-fledged, dynamic, and exciting punk rock band. Perhaps one of the greatest facets of this four-piece is the signature and all- important rawness with which they have successfully implemented into their performative sensibility. Simply stated, this is not pop punk, this is not fake, and this music is actually something that hearkens back to the days of early-era Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees. “Pale Skin Latin Girls” is an exemplification of the band’s genuine, aggressive, and crude approach to rock n’ roll. The guitar is guttural and raw, but definitively keeps away from too much bottom-end or polish to suggest the tell-tale “overproduced” modern distortion sound evident in nearly the entirety of popular rock music produced today, even by noteworthy bands. The bass, drums, and vocals all follow suit to create the familiar, enveloping, energizing, “wall of sound”, treble-driven, stripped-down punk assault that would have sounded right at home coming from a beat-up cassette tape made about thirty-five years ago.
“Pale Skin Latin Girls” sounds like the vocals and overall sensibility of Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees, but with a quality of instrumentation that suggests large influences from other heavy rock female-fronted bands like Girlschool. Ultimately, the track rips, there is really no other way around it. “Pale Skin Latin Girls” is no-nonsense, genuine, aggressive, high-energy punk music.
For all that the music has to offer, the video for “Pale Skin Latin Girls” is kind of silly. Releasing a music video for this particular incantation of raw, driving punk music beyond a series of basic shots of the band playing involves a large amount of creative risk, and unless the artists have the resources necessary to produce something that is truly top caliber, history has generally concluded that it is usually a good idea for most hard rock bands to stay away from music videos. The video is low-budget and obvious about it, but lacks the charm or lasting appeal to turn it into a cult-classic low budget music video. The plastic choreographed fight scenes and the silly special effects distract from what is probably one of the most formidable and noteworthy punk singles this country has had for a long time.
NEW EViL’s single “Pale Skin Latin Girls” demonstrates definitive artistic talent. This is a real rock n’ roll band with punk sensibilities that can match the caliber of bands that were putting out material in the late seventies through the mid to late eighties. The public needs music like this, but only in instances where it can be preserved for what it is and not commodified for what it is not. NEW EViL without a doubt has the potential and ability to be one of the greatest punk bands of the current era of music. However, being the greatest punk band of the era doesn’t really have anything to do with how many records they sell, or how many people actually know their name. Being the greatest punk band of the era is about making music that inspires, energizes, and barricades itself at the perpetual fringes of society. NEW EViL has done well so far.