Published on December 10th, 2022

She Wants Revenge by Tyler Curtis

The post-punk Southern California duo She Wants Revenge arrived in 2004 on the short list of aughts bands daring to flex sentence-length names such as We Were Promised Jetpacks and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. With their dark atmospherics and (comparatively) terse moniker, singer/guitarist Justin Warfield and multi-instrumentalist Adam Bravin drew comparisons to Joy Division and Depeche Mode. But it was Warfield’s sinister rat-a-tat-tat lyrical delivery that really set them apart in the mid-2000’s indie rock boom.

She Wants Revenge’s 2006 self-titled debut album was sci-fi noir told in twelve chapters with beats you could dance to; its dozen songs sounded both futuristic and as if lifted out of a time capsule from a goth club in 1980. The titles wore their influences on their black sleeves: “Tear You Apart” recalling the Joy Division’s touchstone, “Love Will Tear Us Apart“; “Out of Control” invoking Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control.”

Their 2007 followup, “This Is Forever,” had hypnotic moments including the opening instrumental, “First, Love,” and the driving “Written in Blood,” but didn’t capture the zeitgeist like their debut, though it is well worth hearing today. The long absence that followed left the Joy Division space uncontested for Interpol to fully occupy. SWR’s most recent album, 2011’s “Valleyheart,” found Bravin emoting more like Bono than Ian Curtis, which could be taken as criticism or praise depending on how firmly you believe that Warfield’s dire monotone was the beating heart of She Wants Revenge’s sound.

It’s been almost a generation since “She Wants Revenge,” the album, came out, and its tunes inspire their own nostalgia harking back to flip phones, MySpace and Netflix mailers. For the current comeback tour the duo has expanded to a quintet to give the songs the full replication of what was once heard on compact disc — from back when musical obsessions were more up close and personal, cyberstalking was still a novelty, and those “… Trail of Dead” guys from Austin, Texas were the original champs of the extended band name.

She Wants Revenge and D’Arcy perform 7:30pm Saturday, Dec. 3 at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale. ~ David Rolland