This pop-punk quartet is more than the sum of their parts.
Emerging from the Chicago underground following three years of intense performances, the Wanton Looks — armed with their debut album of the same name — are bringing their high-octane act to Brooklyn.
“It’s power pop, punk — distorted and loud,” said singer and bassist Traci Trouble. “Our guitarists have a lot of peddles.”
But it wasn’t easy making the band — it took almost three years for singer Traci Trouble and drummer Meg Thomas to transform the Wanton Looks performance from a beer-fueled jam session to a show fit for the road.
“It just took us forever,” said Trouble. “It all started with Meg and I. I had a space and I said come on let’s jam, and we just drank and had fun. But eventually we wanted to take things to the next level, and Inga Olson came into the band.”
Not only does Olson lay down the her guitar solos with practiced precision — she does it with class.
“Inga grew up playing cello,” said Trouble. “She’s classically trained and an amazing lead guitarist.”
The final piece of this power-punk puzzle was found much the same way Brooklynites find furniture and roommates — Craigslist.
“Susie Q [Winn] was in Chicago maybe six-months before she answered our Craigslist ad,” said Trouble. “She’s in the Arkansa Hall of Fame for winning best band, or guitarist, or something — I should probably know that.”
Thomas, a percussionist virtuoso who plays drums of all shapes and sizes, including djemba, steel drums, and bongos, adds a world-music flare to her classic rock-kit.
“Especially drum-wise, Meg is doing some things that are really unexpected,” Olson said. “Not just two-and-four [time], she’s incorporating a lot of different rhythms. I don’t know if people pick up on that kind of stuff, but she’s not just doing rock drumming, she’s doing a fusion thing and I think that’s awesome.”
But, when it comes to the band’s spirit, everything comes back to the leader.
“Traci’s a really dynamic front person. She’s definitely an extroverted, balls-to-the-wall person,” said Olson. “She doesn’t think, she just rocks.”
The Wanton Looks at Don Pedro [90 Manhattan Ave. between Boerum and McKibbin streets in Williamsburg, (347) 689–3163, www.donped