Scough: “The combination of a sneeze and a cough at the same point in time.” (source: Urban Dictionary)
It’s an appropriate name for this ensemble, as their music induces simultaneous discomfort and relief. Seeing Scoughs play live is less like seeing a band, and more like observing performance art. I was lucky enough to witness a demonstration recently at the perfectly adapted Iguana club, formerly known as 37th and Zen. If one thing is for sure, it is that it was a unique experience.
Article by Debra Joan
Photograph by Alexi Zeren
The players entered the stage in something like hazmat suits, and masks reminiscent of The Purge. They all seemed to share a disdain for footwear, as none wore shoes, although one did have on mismatched socks (which I’m sure bothered at least a few prone to OCD in the crowd). Even before the sound hit, you knew you were in for something. Then they started playing.
Not long into the performance, the singer threw off the shackles of her clothing to reveal a scantily clad, very petite girl. Her voice, though, was anything but. Soaring screams and yells punctuated each of the 30 second to minute and a half songs, along with the contrasting beauty of her violin tones. This was Mozart high on mescaline. And they had everyone in the room’s attention.
Many of their songs reminded me of a Boris Karloff monster movie soundtrack. It was noise rock chaos brought to a sense of order with melancholy and simple, yet memorable, guitar and violin melodies. There was a method to the madness, leaving a lasting impression that a lot of experimental noise rock bands just can’t achieve. The experience teetered between a dream and a nightmare; but it is one, that unlike with the breaking of the dawn, I won’t soon forget.
For more info on Scoughs visit www.facebook.com/Scoughs
757E Zine is a bi-monthly music, arts, and culture magazine dedicated to local musicians and artists who are not afraid to push boundaries. 757E Zine doesn't strive to be "safe" but rather in touch with what is new and unique in Hampton Roads music and art.
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