On July 16, Sacramento punk band Destroy Boys played the first of two sold-out shows at the Great American Music Hall: band members Alexia Roditis and Violet Mayugba were obviously thrilled to be back in the bay after a tour, performing songs from their recent album, Open mouth, open heartto their core fans.
Between the powerful riffs of guitarist-vocalist Mayugba – such an instrumental presence – and the acrobatic leaps and swivels coupled with the euphoric mews of singer-guitarist Roditis, the band members brought a burst of energy. Their fervor was fueled by drummer Narsai Malik’s high-octane percussive accents, who kicked off the show in full blast with joyful ruckus.
Punk remains the primary genre this band works in, but it’s evident that the advancements have catapulted the band to new heights and genre explorations. Maybe touring with one of their inspirations, Mannequin Pussy, made their releases a little neater. Tight choruses and hooks help promote an inclusive message, “Be who you want to be,” which they declaim through direct yet artful arrangements, aiming their punk-rawk darts at increased accessibility without diminishing the message.
That night, hundreds of young women (the majority of the crowd) loudly shouted lyrics such as “The witch hunt turned into hunting female dogs”, from the unmistakable earworm “Locker Room Bully”. This clever piece of calligraphy came soaked with adrenaline and a blitzkrieg community summons: get punk AF. Witnessing this moment live was a real rush: Destroy Boys unlocks new levels of connection and insight.
Violet and Alexia continued to look past the lights throughout the nightly performance. Searching for, locating and reconnecting with fathers, brothers, friends and homies they hadn’t seen in a long time, which elicited constant cries from the group and collective acknowledgment from the general public.
The group stressed that everyone has a voice and the potential to change society, urging the crowd to fight for their rights. When it came time for a non-binary, trans-mosh-pit, commissioned by this ensemble that acts way older than their years, the shit was sorted quickly. Cis-dudes were happily tossed aside.
Although they are compared, on several platforms, to riot grrrl groups like Bikini Kill, which is a huge compliment – Kathleen Hanna contacted them and acknowledged them last year – Destroy Boys prefers to be characterized as “what would happen if Blondie dropped into a Misfits session taping.” And that’s what happened on stage.