Emma DeCorsey of I Am The Polish Army. Photo by Alice Teeple.

Review by Robert Prichard.

Brooklyn’s own Castle Black and I Am The Polish Army delivered intensely searing sets at East Village rock-n-roll mecca Bowery Electric on Sunday, August 4.

Both bands are fronted by strong women—two guitar-shredding protagonists who feature their own unique takes on the rock canon.

Leigh Celent’s Castle Black features a tsunamic blend of grunge, punk, and metal that is felt as much as it is heard. Every song is a potential youth culture anthem delivering raw emotion, searing guitar riffs, melodic bass lines and thunderous rhythm. Joey Russo was full of savage glee and merciless mayhem at the drums, while Scott Brown’s bass anchored the maelstrom with hooks and melody. Rising above the fray, Leigh Celent’s vocals and guitar were the band’s pull star. This band is a force of nature.

Emma DeCorsey’s I Am The Polish Army delivered brand-new material—songs so new they were as yet untitled—and so were referred to as classic rock acts from the 70s, such as: “Ozzy,” “Stooges,” “The Who,” etc. While inspired by those exemplary acts, these songs had their own timeless signatures. It was like listening to a rock show from an alternative 1970s where blues-based rock never surrendered to hair metal or punk. IATPA were relentless, raw, and bleeding genuine old-school rock-n-roll integrity. Think Lita Ford without the fanfare, just the shredding (and fronting Dire Straits). Eric Kuby on drums manifested an intricate obsession with various rhythms while being as precise as a machine, and the night’s guest bassist, Dmitry Ishenko (Echo Moth, Woodhead) filled in admirably for Turner Stough (who is touring Europe). The basslines were fat, melodic, and on-point, and served as the perfect foundation for Emma’s searing yet stoic guitar heroics. The set was, in short, awesome.

This was a most excellent show. You should have been there!