The way some people talk about solo singer-songwriters…seems like there’s a lot of complicated discourse around the whole “one-person act” aspect. We sometimes idolize (and frankly fetishize) unescorted performances by the likes of Norah Jones or Billie Eilish, but honestly, even with those examples I respect the hell out of a songwriter who recognizes the potential of a full-group.
Among those? San Antonio singer-guitarist Rhyma Castillo. Following lineages of Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, PJ Harvey, and even Tina Turner, Castillo launched her classic-rock-meets-grunge project Grrrl Toy as a solo endeavor back in July. But despite the caliber of Castillo’s standalone talents, the potential to expand was just too good to pass up. Now, mere months later, Grrrl Toy records and performs as a fizzing feminist five-piece, and dang do those additional four players make a difference for the final product.
Following their first two singles, the quintet’s been working on their debut EP Merry Lane for release next Summer. And today Grrrl Toy’s graciously given us an early listen to what’s sure to be one of Merry Lane‘s finest incisors. At just over four minutes, “Bite!” is a slow burn that starts off real sweet, real soft. But between crunching guitar, sharp percussion fills, and a half-time bridge just before a big Blackhearts-style vocal-driven finish, you won’t want “Bite!” to release its grip, even after breaking the skin.