Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos grew up El Paso, Tex., a pair of raven-haired young ladies with a major soft spot for The Police and their dad’s favorite band, Rush. Vic eventually learned to play guitar, while Gab took up the bass. All they needed was their Stewart Copeland or Neil Peart.
“We were into music since we were 11,” Victoriah recently told OnMilwaukee.com. “We moved to Milwaukee about four years ago, and we were feeling ready to start a band. We saw Jesus Nanez, our drummer, playing for another band at Summerfest, and Gab and I were like, ‘Man, that guy is really good. That’s the kind of drummer we want!’ So we started talking to him and slowly seduced him into becoming our drummer.”
The songs on their debut EP, 2011’s Bridges and Guns, are nearly as seductive, coming on like early Juliana Hatfield on a Valley Girl binge — jangly guitars and the sisters’ tag-team vocals power hook-laden songs with straightforwardly revealing titles like “I Haven’t Seen You” and “Anything for You.”Vic and Gab’s first full-length, last year’s Love of Mine, is even more assured, the sound of a band coming into its own.
opener “Love of Mine” sets the tone, a dreamily atmospheric Pop tune
that’s almost impossible to eradicate once it enters your ears. Driven
by Vic’s chiming guitar lines and the sisters’ interweaving vocal
harmonies, “Let You Down” reveals that “no one moves like you,” a simple
assertion that somehow sounds as if it’s never before been uttered.
It’s but one of many seemingly effortless tunes on a record so addictive
it’s threatening to enter the realm of Haim, ladies with a similar gift
for Pop songcraft.
VIC + GAB perform a free show Monday at MOTR Pub. Details here.