by Joel Smith & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & f the Trucks' musical careers don't work out, then that's it. "It's our last hope. It's this or the noose," they say. "If we don't make some money off of this, we're just going to off ourselves."
This kind of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole is typical of the all-women, electro-punk quartet from Bellingham. Just listen to songs like "Big Afros" or "Faux Play," whose catchy tag line asks the age-old question, "What makes you think we can f--- just because you put your tongue in my mouth and you twisted my titties, baby?" Their music is delightfully filthy, rhythmically juvenile, with lyrics that aren't really meant to make you think, but just to put you in the right mindset before the keys and guitars set your ass to shaking. It's like United State of Electronica, only with balls. Ironically.
"It's like art therapy," says Marissa Moore, who sings and plays the keyboard and xylophone. At least I think it was Marissa Moore who said that. On speaker phone it was impossible to teel the band members apart as they riffed over each other on matters of beer swilling and being "really hot girls with stinky pits."
What their chatter revealed, though, was a kind of pants-seat-flying school of rock. The ladies got together in 2003, answering a call from Western Washington University's women's center for more female talent at the school's annual music festival. Moore, who used to play a child's toy xylophone in front of a mainstay Bellingham club called the 3B (now shuttered), corralled some friends and got them the gig. "We have a show in a month," she recalls thinking. "We'd better write some songs."
That sense of improvisation pervades their songwriting process, in which each member throws out ideas as they go along, picking out whatever notes sound good on the xylophone, on the Casio, etc. Kristin Allen-Zito, who sings and plays keys and guitar for the Trucks, has had her own singer-songwriter solo act for years, but she says playing with the band has been her most "creatively satisfying" experience.
"There's this mindset of you need to have a musical background or know the chords you're playing or something about music history. People have all kinds of ideas about where you need to be at to play music," she says. "It's kind of b.s."
In other words, just freaking out and having fun can be enough. And it was enough to land the Trucks a spot at Sasquatch last month, playing the Yeti stage before Dead Boy and the Elephantmen on Friday afternoon. In their characteristically wild costumes (think tutus, striped nylons and a wedding dress), wailing on their instruments, you wouldn't have guessed that they'd been nervous wrecks for the weeks leading up to the show.
"We pretty much wanted to puke our guts out," one of them says. "We couldn't even talk. We started feeling nauseous at practices if we started talking about it."
But that's the thing about music that's that wild and spontaneous -- it's infectious. The band says that after Sasquatch, they saw a huge spike in the comments and friend requests on their MySpace page, and several people who approached them after a show in Seattle last week said they came out because they saw the band at Sasquatch.
They intend to spread that sphere of influence over the next several months, with their first full-length coming out in September, followed by a national tour set to begin in October. But first, Friday night's show at Mootsy's.
"You won't be disappointed," one of them says. "Our shows are kind of more than you'd expect. Some people actually really don't like us because it's a little bit over the top." Another band member (Kristin?) tries to shush her at this point, but she persists. "I just think it's really interesting. Some people like to go out and get offended."
The rest of us like to go out and get crazy.
The Trucks at Mootsy's, 406 W. Sprague, on Friday, June 30, at 9 pm. Tickets: $5. Call 838-1570.