Last week

Paper Box

became the venue for a Garage Rock CMJ showcase. We checked out the Orlando-based masked bandits

Room Full of Strangers

, and New York City’s

Bikini Car Wash


The Rats of New York


The highlight of Paper Box’s CMJ showcase had to be Bikini Car Wash. Their Pop Punk sounds like No Doubt during their earlier years with less horns. It was the lead singer, Bushwick resident Lizzie Steelheart, whose performance was amazing and electrifying. Lizzie  put on a sexy energetic performance- even disrobing for the crowd, which made me, burlesque fan a happy gal. She also sang to Bushwick Daily’s very own photographer, Peter Dressel. I recommend catching Bikini Car Wash, before they get big.  They’ll be playing at Tammany Hall this Friday, October 26th.


A bit later Rats of New York rocked the stage. Their garage punk sound was very enjoyable and made me wish they had a larger crowd to mosh around and get crazy during their set. They reminded me- especially the ‘wipe-out’ guitar solos- of the old garage bands of the 1960s like the Surfari’s, mixed with the upbeat 80’s format of someone like the Ramones. Unlike their predecessors, however,  The Rats bring a bit more melody and vocal personality back to punk rock.

The headliner of the evening, Room Full of Strangers, played to a small but excited crowd after midnight.  Their entrance to the show was at first both puzzling and theatrical and I soon was intrigued by their presence and surprisingly strong sound. Their hard rock sound, with fast-paced bluesy guitars and punk-influenced wandering vocal verses hit the spot. They sound like they can be on the soundtrack of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The remaining crowd, self included, seemed to enjoy these  disguised boys just as much as they enjoyed the performance of Bikini Car Wash. If you  want to catch them performing, and you happened to be in Disney World around November 7th. Head over to Will’s Pub to watch these boys play.