The Devotchkas

I remember opening the pages of Maximum rock in roll back in the late 1990's and seeing four of the most punk rock looking girls I had ever seen. Since I grew up in a small town and I went to Catholic school they were different than anything I was used to seeing. I was immediately drawn to them. With their colored spiked hair and studded leather vests, they were way more punk looking than L7 and even Bikini Kill. They could also really play. Eventually this look went mainstream when Distillers took off, and nowadays with that Erin Micklow girl, but back in the late 1990s punk was still for the black sheeps and weirdos.

Devotchkas, taking their name from A Clockwork Orange, started in late 1996 and was made up originally of 3 girls and one guy, Jon, who was the drummer. Jon eventually left because he went to join the Casualties and he was replaced by Gabrielle. The main lineup ended up being Steph on vocals, Mande on guitar, Alaine on bass and Gabrielle on drums. Previous bands some of the women had been in were the Auxiliary, the Manix,and the Epitomie. They were an Oi! influenced punk band from Long Island but also cited the Ramones and Misfits as big influences. They played regularly at CBGB's with bands like The Krays and Treason.

Song subjects were not political but more social based. They had songs about men being assholes, and they had songs about girls using men in the scene to become more popular. They admitted they wrote about issues that affected them on a personal level which made them even more relate-able.

They toured with Vice Squad in Europe and even got to sing for Beki Bondage when she lost her voice at one point. They were signed to the legendary Punk Core Records, releasing 2 EP's and one 7' and then split up. They briefly reunited in 2017 for 2 shows.

In true punk rock form, they haven't been heard from since.

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