Hank and Cupcakes

“Bad Ass”, doesn’t even come close to describing Hank & Cupcakes. They are “Super Bad Ass”! I remember the night in October 2009 that I saw them for the first time at Crash Mansion on Bowery. They were rather unassuming when they took the stage, but then WHAM!!! …the first crash of the cymbals for “Ain’t No Love” exploded into the room and into the atmosphere beyond. It took me all of about 3 seconds to recognize that this was something different, something never before seen. I watched their set with astonishment. This sexy chick drummer playing her drums STANDING UP with fury and proficiency, her vocals bellowing, the hooks emanating from her pipes, wrapped themselves around my eardrums like some kind of deadly snake in a tropical rain forest. This is Cupcakes! She slithers, she screams, she proclaims…..she is there to show the world what she can do. These songs come from somewhere mysterious, mystical, and enchanted. She plowed through that set like a hurricane disguised as a tornado and made no excuses for it. Hank is the epitome of humble. He is some kind of magician – a scientist of sound, an Einstein of bass and pedal technology. Quiet, contemplative and seemingly out of place, but sharp…sharp as the fangs on that very same venomous rain forest snake. He and Cupcakes are aware of everything around them. They know their game. They are tight. They are practiced. They are here to stay and are on a trajectory for greatness. The sounds that this 2-piece drum-and-bass ensemble produce defy logic and would give a listener the impression that they are, at the very least, a 5- piece band. How they do it is unknown, but what they are doing is clear to see. One night, Cupcakes let me know about a new song they were about to unveil called “Jimmy” based on a conversation we’d had at Norwood about a week earlier. (This is by far one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard, but of course, I’m biased….) From the opening strains of “My name is Jimmy and I gotta a TV show… My name is Jimmy, Ji Ji Ji Ji, Jimmy”… the song takes off like Apollo 11 on a mission of destiny. The song progresses quickly through a hairpin labyrinth of pop hooks and bass chops and then descends down into a maelstrom of whirling dervish-like overdrive until its climactic apex. Whenever I hear it I always feel a lump in my throat. I’ve seen them perform live many times since that first night at Crash Mansion and they just keep getting better and better and better. Dynamic, progressive, perceptive, capable and unmatched, Hank & Cupcakes are here to stay. They are good people too. Mark my words, they are set to conquer whatever landscape they lay claim to!

Leave a Comment