Two Fridays ago, in an opening slot for Chicago’s Blizzard Babies and local three-piece Dudes, scrappy D.C. band BRNDA played one of the best sets I’ve seen from a local band this year. They sounded excited to be there—no cool poses to be found—and delivered a set of speedy, silly pop-rock tunes with brio.
When D.C. punk gets to feel too serious, a band like BRNDA reminds us that fun is an option, too.
Now it has a whole album full of those fun songs: Today, BRNDA (formerly Brenda) debuted its new full-length on Bandcamp. Tonight it plays a release show at Rock & Roll Hotel with fellow locals The Walking Sticks and The Sea Life.
My favorite song from that March show is also my favorite on the record. It’s “Super Dave,” a song whose ridiculous chorus you probably shouldn’t sing absentmindedly in public: “Dave, we’ve got a crack pipe if you want it.” I asked the band’s drummer, Leah Gage, to tell me what that’s all about.
“Certain members of BRNDA are acquainted with the difficulties of being tempted by certain substances, and we wanted to write a song about it,” Gage writes in an email. “We were in Baltimore and talking about a time Dave [Lesser, vocalist and guitarist] fell off a cliff in Pittsburgh, and before we knew it the story of a superhero trying to save potheads from being thwarted by crack and the evil Dr. Freebase was born.”
A key verse from the tale of Super Dave:
“Dr. Freebase flies up in the air, he gives me a look, a comic-book stare/He’s got the potheads all smoking crack; I know what I’ve got to do to fight back/Rose clenched between my teeth, I plunge into the darkness beneath.”
The addicted masses might want Super Dave to suck from the malicious crack pipe, but Dave isn’t bending. “Dave, we’ve got a crack pipe if you want it,” goes that chorus. His defiant reply: “No way—Super Dave is here to stay.”