Burning Pools, the new band led by former Smashing Pumpkins bassist Ginger Pooley, has been long in the making. She and husband Kristopher Pooley had been demoing songs showcasing Ginger’s penchant for empowering protest lyrics clothed in pop hooks, when they decided to reach out to guitarist Max Bernstein. He promptly added some tracks with a sub-octave fuzz permanently in the “on” position. Instantly, the three decided that Kris (a keyboard player by trade) would dust off his drum kit as this was not a synth operation —and a band was born.
The band’s three members share a long list of studio and touring credits and collectively have worked with rock legends like Tom Morello, Siouxsie Sioux, Slash, Morrissey, Liz Phair, Scott Weiland, Tegan and Sara, and bands like Jane’s Addiction and Weezer. They’ve also had their hands in the pop world, though it is clear that its influence is positively nil. Their unique brand of noisy power-pop with doomy riffs charts a different sonic course, harkening more to the loud drum and guitar squalls that Kris and Ginger experienced as newlyweds on Smashing Pumpkins tours.
Their latest single “Woman” is a universal song about the power of women and the daily fight they face for equality. Ginger, the singer, sings from a place of power and defiance. She has faced many of the challenges that women deal with everyday in our patriarchal society and dares her challengers to bring it on. In the second verse she writes from her personal hardships. Hours after giving birth to her daughter, she was tasked with the responsibility of planning her own mother’s funeral, who passed away while Ginger was in labor. The males in her family were not up for the task, leaving her to both create life and bury life in the same week. These events had a profound effect on her. Though traumatizing, it helped her understand her power more deeply. The line, “Don’t you know what I can do?” is both personal and universal. Coming from a place of experience it also speaks to the antagonists women face everywhere around the world everyday. According to Ginger, this song proclaims, “I am strong. I am powerful. I can do anything. Don’t mess with me. I am Woman.”
Bands like Burning Pools are supposed to play shows — and to the list of the world’s upended plans of 2020 we add the dream of taking these songs beyond streaming platforms to the stage where a power trio can actually be one in real time. For now, Burning Pools will be releasing singles from their forthcoming EP.
The video is just dark Punk through and through and empowering for the times to reflect what society might coming to all the while still with music in the world, there’s always hope. It’s no secret that some of the best music come out in the times such as this right now and Burning Pools might just be the most exciting act that’s come to my attention to close out the year. Expect big things from the unfiltered huge Bass sounds of Burning Pools in the near future.