Girls Gone Wild 

Straight outta Boulder, Hemi Cuda have come to rock you and love you.

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It starts on the school bus. En route to or from school, or yet another field trip to Hogle Zoo, we boys stared out the window, scanning traffic for cool muscle cars on which to call dibs. At school, we’d traverse the playground, egos fortified by our gleaming white Kiss or AC/DC T-shirts and mental showroom of cherry automobiles. The girls thought we were cool—at least in our minds—but out of confusion or animal stupidity, we didn’t know to care.


Eventually, we came around. Girls, and their various mystery goodies, rose in our esteem. They became as cool as—perhaps even cooler than—Kiss and cars. Cherry took on a whole new meaning. This was the beginning of our downfall. We’d unwittingly supplied the blueprint to our destruction. Calculating ladies have bided their time in implementing any plan derived from the knowledge, until now. Hemi Cuda have arrived.


The Boulder, Col. trio—pseudo fembots Anika Zappe (guitar, vocals) and Karen Exley (bass, boots) and token male Devon Rogers (drums)—might be the indecent insurrection. Touring the country on feminine wiles, guitar wails and exhaust fumes, Hemi makes men beg thrice: to hear hot-rod jargon roll from juicy red lips, for tasty licks in songs about fast machines and easy action, and for acknowledgement in a wink or a spank. Even jaded male Jello Biafra waited in line to see Hemi Cuda’s live debut. But while such evidence points to feasible female dominance, that’s not necessarily the goal.


“Pleasing men and conquering them can be one and the same,” says Zappe. Exley adds: “I like men a lot. However, I don’t really see the point in ‘conquering’ them. … Although it is nice to remind them that women are far superior beings.”


The ladies call themselves Hemi Cuda after their “mutual love of all that is fast and powerful,” says Zappe, adding her now-ex-boyfriend used to “get wood” whenever she dropped car lingo like “Hemi” or “positraction.” Their boozy, bluesy power-trio sound is a manifestation of environment—both Exley and Zappe come from musical families—and intrinsic, undiluted femme fury.


“We are sexually empowered, thinking women who must be reckoned with,” says Zappe. “We play fast, loud and raunchy and we don’t need a reason. We are the reason.”


She kids you not. Hemi Cuda is, in many ways, like the Amazonian Viking chick adorning the cover of their album, Classics For Lovers (Pop Sweatshop Records). The curvy, helmeted warrior—shown wielding a busted, bloody Gibson SG and bitch-dragging a man—instills fear and throbbing turgidity. They’re the embodiment of the “Sweet Pain” Gene Simmons once sang of. You want to run to and run from Hemi, but if you’re smart, you stand still and take it. God help the dumbass—particularly one in Fort Wayne, Ind.—that reaches out for a handful.


Tells Exley, “He thought it’d be a good idea to rub ice cubes up my leg. My boyfriend at the time was playing drums with us and saw the guy conspiring. He gave him a warning and the fucker did it anyway. On the last note, I kicked his glass out of his hand with my big-ass boot. Glass and booze flew everywhere, but the folks who got splattered cheered. He stood in a corner the rest of the night, ashamed a beautiful woman cut him down. It seems to remind them just how pathetic they are.”


Whether Hemi Cuda aims to dominate or not, they’re obviously capable. Zappe even claims, “Many in the land will bear the smell of Hemi on their lips.” So how does one avoid the carnage?


“The best way to fall into my favor,” says Exley, “is to have integrity and be honest. General respect is something I expect. There’s nothing that grates my nerves more than men who don’t know me, have no couth, and think it’s a compliment to make derogatory sexual comments. Do they really think that works? Come on.”


“Offer to buy a drink or help lug my amp,” chimes Zappe, “and don’t be upset if I decline. Give me an interesting conversation, packed with humor. Be a deviant, but be obedient. And bring me Happy Meal toys! Still wrapped, please!”


Therein lies the secret of surviving the revolt. Women have their own weaknesses. We love muscle cars and Kiss; they want to be treated like ladies. They love us as much as we love them.


“I prefer to be the lover, not the fighter,” concludes Zappe. “Besides, a good intelligent mind does so much more damage.”

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