Though their band name refers to a gigantic, atomic Japanese lizard, I think the members of Bridezilla should’ve picked a different movie monster portmanteau. Rather than recalling something scaly, scary and veiled, the Australian rock quintet sounds much more like a Bride of Frankenstein, because the chaotic arrangements on its eponymous debut EP are something only mad science could create.
Singer and rhythm guitarist Holiday Sidewinder’s got the alto chops of a young PJ Harvey and the scoopy soprano wail of Bjork; lead guitarist Millie Hall and drummer Josh Bush back her capably and predictably. Things get weird once the saxophone comes in. Sometimes it’s ambient, sometimes funky (think Morphine), and sometimes it’s in unison with maudlin, ornamental violin parts.
Maybe Sidewinder was listening to the Talking Heads song “Sax and Violins” when she formed the band. Or maybe she decided to start playing music one day, walked into her high school band room and randomly picked players from the jazz combo and the orchestra (“I’ll take you, and you, and you…”). It’s an interesting lineup and it makes the band memorable, but at times the dueling woodwind-string thing gets tiring (especially on “St. Francine”). The instrumentation works well, however, on frantic opener “Brown Paper Bag” and the sparse and swoopy “Chainwork.”
Sidewinder’s artful voice and oddball lyrics sometimes get lost under excessive playing, which is a shame since they’re quite lovely when audible. But since this EP was recorded in 2007 when the band members were only 16, I’m guessing (and hoping) they’ll have it all figured out on their Kramer-produced debut LP, The First Dance.