In the wake of the success of Blondie and the Go-Go's, more and more female artists have entered the pop-rock sweepstakes. At the 9:30 club Saturday night, one of the latest entries, Bonnie Hayes and her three-man Wild Combo, provided an evening of high-energy, melodic rock 'n' roll that was as danceable as it was forgettable. Unfortunately, the band's conventional hard-rock dynamics, Paul Davis' hackneyed guitar solos and Hayes' limited organ stylings did little to enliven her original modern romances.
On "Sandy," a lilting dramatic ballad, Hayes did manage to capture the innocence of the girl-group era and transpose it on the more realistic, hard-edged terms of the '80s. Finally, the band trotted out a frat-house workhorse, the Human Beinz's "Nobody but Me," and everybody got dancing shoes on and frugged along with Hayes.
The opening act, Philadelphia's Headcheese, provided a much more creative and unpredictable, if ragged, revision of the '60s rock 'n' roll sensibility. The band used tribal drum patterns, shifting tempos and chanted choruses to create a somewhat zany but compelling kind of experimental pop. Although the performance took a while to gel, by the time the group got to "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" the crowd was assured of having no idea what this imaginative and rhythmically compulsive band would do next.