T-Rextasy will perform two shows in Colorado this week with Blacker Face.
Monday, August 6 at Your Mom’s House in Denver [show canceled and relocated to TBA, ask a punk] and Tuesday, August 7 at Surfside 7 in Fort Collins. The New York City-based band has garnered a bit of a following in the past few years for its spirited and unconventional pop punk. Formed in 2013 while its members were still in high school, T-Rextasy demonstrated an astute and thoughtful take on social issues and identity from a young age imbued with a genuinely clever and irreverent sensibility.
Drummer Ebun Nazon-Power had been playing in bands prior to T-Rextasy when she heard about Lyris Faron from a friend. “We first met at my show at my high school,” dsays Nazon-Power. “After she saw me play she said, ‘I want to start a band with you.’ She wanted an all girl band, you know, to play some rock and roll music. I was down with that. Within a couple of weeks we started practicing together.”
The group’s first performance was at a house show and one of its earliest gigs at a more conventional venue was opening for the great New York City indie pop band Frankie Cosmos at the DIY space Shea Stadium. “That was a big deal for us because it was our first opportunity to play before this big group,” says Nazon-Power.
Critics have referred to the band’s lyrics as radically political in the best sense—mincing no words yet creatively engaging.
“So educational but not didactic?” asks bassist Annie Fidoten. “As songwriters we’re rooted in thinking about things that are happening in our immediate periphery, to ourselves and our friends. ‘Chick’n’ is a song I wrote when I was 17 and now I’m 22. I was literally sitting around with people at the cafeteria and talking about how pet names annoy me as much as cat calling does. There’s something creepy about it. I thought it would be clever to put that into a song. A lot of people probably feel the same way and it becomes social commentary that resonates for other people. We’re always trying to write songs that we think might resonate with other people who have experienced those things themselves. If something happens in adolescence and we’re still thinking about it? I think that’s pretty universal.”
“Chick’n” appeared on the group’s 2016 debut full-length Jurassic Punk, a record filled with exuberant songs that offer a perspective looking to encourage the transformation of the present into a better future by critiquing regressive mindsets and behaviors with humor and psychological insight.
Since all the members of T-Rextasy are currently enrolled in college in different parts of the United States, it has undertaken sporadic touring and took some time off in 2017 to go on a bigger tour. And in summer 2017, the band took time out for a kind of songwriting retreat to compose its sophomore album, as yet unnanounced, due later this year on Danger Collective.
“We stayed together in New York for four days or something like that and wrote songs and relaxed,” says Fidoten. “Some were songs we had pieces of or almost songs. Some were completely written while we were there. All those songs we wrote together. It was very collaborative, all of our songwriting is. I can’t imagine us writing songs remotely and sending each other parts. We operate as a unit. Half of the songs we had before and the other half are from that writing experience.”
The new record contains much of the striking and affecting lyrics one would expect as well as songwriting that could never be truly pigeonholed with the confessional, personal quality of the best pop punk and eclectic use of sound including bits of ska.
“I’m a big ska fan so I think the formula for what a ska song is we can sprinke into places to spice them up a little,” says Lyris Faron. “When we do covers, we can do an instant ska cover, bass on the 1, 5, 8, guitars on the off beat, super easy to spice it up lke that and make it recognizable and give it a kitschy feeling.”
Whatever its exact alchemy, for certain, T-Rextasy’s version of punk is not only good but good for you.