Material: In true punk rock fashion, Hawaiian T-Shirt is a high-quality band that is relatively unknown to the outside world. But within the confines of Echo Park in Los Angeles, they are known as one of the most popular live acts in the neighborhood’s vibrant indie-rock scene. Music from Hawaiian T-Shirt is reminiscent of the classic album by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs called Fever to Tell (released in 2003). Together, Ana Ayon, Tara Edwards, Shelina Lousie and Mike Morales have written songs about chaotic romance, sarcastic odes to feminism and in-your-face tales of impoverished living. The four piece band released their debut album, This Shit Does Not Concern You, in June. This LP is a gritty blend of art-punk, garage-punk, post punk, gothic rock and indie rock.
Musicianship: The band is made of up four members who are all very essential to their live presentation and recordings. Lead singer and guitarist Ana Ayon sings in a versatile manner that is comparable to Siouxsie Sioux from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Shelina Louise elegantly alternates from a keyboard to a keytar. Mike Morales’s completes this cohesive unit with his ability to play post punk and gothic-rock bass tabs exceptionally well.
Performance: Hawaiian T-Shirt performed seven songs at an undisclosed location that locals refer to as the “Church of Fun.” With a fluorescent upside-down cross looming in the dark backdrop, Tara Edwards pounded the drums with such skill and enthusiasm that it set an energetic tone for the entire evening. The art-punk song “Sandpaper” highlighted her percussion technique along with Ayon’s ability to chant, scream and sing in ascending scales. Later, the feminist dance-punk song “Chantelle” showcased Shelina Louise’s dynamic ability to maneuver two separate keyboards and Morales’ charismatic stage presence with a bass guitar.
Summary: Hawaiian T-Shirt presented a credible blend of art-punk, garage punk, post punk, gothic rock and indie rock--complete with several nods to goth gods like Peter Murphy and Bauhaus. As the show reached its dynamic conclusion, Mike Morales jumped off the stage and began to dance with audience members. This was the perfect ending for a band with such loyal supporters.
Church of Fun Los Angeles, CA
Players: Ana Ayon(vocals, guitar); Shelina Louise(keyboard, keytar); Mike Morales(bass); Tara Edwards(drums)