I caught Bottom at a show in Tucson, Arizona, playing at a club called the Double Zero with three other all-women bands, two from Tucson and one from Phoenix—all punk. Bottom, however, is a metal band—make no mistake about it. Sina (guitar and vocals), Nila (bass), and Clementine (drums and backing vocals) gave up their apartment in New York City, bought a cell phone and a van, and went on the road. They are currently touring up the west coast, so catch them if you can. Nila has been playing bass for over 10 years, and she has to be the best bass player around. Bottom is like PJ Harvey spliced with Black Sabbath and Rage Against the Machine (at RAM’s greatest). Just imagine it. If that’s not enough for you, apparently Ozzy signed their sticker with “girls rock.” Now that’s a certified stamp of approval.
These three women rock hard, and they had this punk crowd moshing and madly into them by the second song. Their 1999 CD, Made in Voyage, has a sweet, sort of inverse photo X-ray, purple against black, of a pelvis on the jacket. Allegedly, the group started in 1997, and they are super sharp and tight. Sina’s voice is sly and rough, Janis Joplin-like. Nila’s bass work is legendary. Clementine’s drums are solid and driving. The opening track, “25 Hawaiian,” features super heavy, slinky guitar riffs. “Whipping Child” is lush and thick, and “Wish You Were Mine” moves and shakes like a freight train. “Bullseye” is hypnotizing and driving. Spoken word meets metal in “Evil Out.” “OhighO” and “SemiAutomatic” are fast and furious. The rest of the tracks on Made in Voyage combine with the ones mentioned above to make Bottom’s debut CD a metal magnet. Heavy metal is back, and Bottom is it. Made in Voyage: attach yourself to it.