Brenna Red is a punk rock vocalist and guitarist from Southern California. She was a founding member of the (then) all-female punk band Civet where she played drums as Bombshell Brenz. Brenna left Civet, switched to guitar and vocals, and formed The Last Gang in 2004. The band went on hiatus in 2009 and Brenna joined Orange County punk rockers Fiction Reform after being recruited by Dan Powell and Danny Baeza. Fiction Reform released two albums with Basement Records before disbanding. In 2013, Brenna re-established The Last Gang to continue with a sound that “has a hint of pop appeal while still maintaining its gritty punk rock roots.” Brenna’s influences include The Clash, Rancid, The Distillers, Bad Religion, Joan Jett, The Descendents, Elvis Costello, The Avengers, etc.
Selected discography (Fiction Reform):
Revelation in the Palms of the Weak (2010). Basement Records. 10 tracks. Choice cuts: “Small Silhouette”, “Whites in Their Eyes”. Other good cuts: “Sins of the Father”, “Cancerous Gold”, “Mr. Eva Braun”, “The Ravishing”, “Drugs in the Kitchen”, “The Bitter Crop”, “180 Avant Garde”, “Come Back Home”.
Take Your Truth (2012). Basement Records. 12 tracks. Choice cuts: “Who’s To Blame”, “(Don’t) Keep at Your Distance”, “One Minute More”. Other good cuts: “Music Monster”, “Smoke and Whiskey”, “On The X”, “Shellac and Vinyl”, “Atrophy”, “Black Widow”, “Jimmy”, “Hi-Fi Violence”, “Death Race”.
Note: “Death Race” is an instrumental track.
Selected videos (Fiction Reform):
Selected discography (The Last Gang):
The Last Gang (2004). DIY album. 9 tracks. Choice cuts: “Accosted”, “Fade to White”, “Patent Pending”. Other good cuts: “Nostalgia”, “Please Please”, “Situation”, “Neon City”, “Alas Babylon”, “I Know You”.
Continuity Breakout (Red 27) (2008). 7″ red vinyl. Choice cuts: “45”, “Leave Me My Freedom”. Other good cuts: “The Original”, “Continuity Breakout”, “Dressed in Red”.
Out of Time (2009). 15 tracks. Choice cuts: “1970’s Whore”, “Child of the Concrete”, Oi! & Alleyways”. Other good cuts: “Mick Strummer”, “The Alleyman”, “Murder Creek”, “Gimme Something Real”, “Heart Is A Drumbeat”, “Wild Child”, “The Original ver. 2”, “Girls Girls”, “Not The One”, “I Know You ver. 2”, “Monster”, “Thin White Line” (The Avengers cover).
“Devil’s in the Details”, “I Was Young Once”, “Baby Don’t Ask Why” (2009). Tracks featured on the compilation Old Skars and Upstarts Vol. 6.
Note: All of The Last Gang music above is available to download for free on the band’s website (here).
“Cocktails” (2014). A cover of the Rancid song from the album Life Won’t Wait (1998). Featured on Hooligans United: A Tribute to Rancid.
The Split (2016). A split EP with pop/punk band Bristol To Memory. The Last Gang‘s tracks are: “Believe in the Poet”, “Identity”.
“Believe in the Poet (demo)” (2016). From The Last Gang‘s DIY demo sessions for the upcoming album.
Complete (2017). An upcoming collection of all of The Last Gang‘s previous recordings, including unreleased material.
Salvation For Wolves (2017). The Last Gang‘s upcoming album.
Selected videos (The Last Gang):
Selected discography (Brenna Red solo):
The Los Angeles e.p. (2014). Basement Records. 2 tracks. Choice cuts: “This Is My City (L.A.)”, “The Summer Of Los Angeles”.
“Feel the Hate” (2014). Featured on the compilation Sunset Overdrive Original Soundtrack: Best of Sunset Overdrive Music.
Selected videos (Brenna Red solo):
My thoughts… I was a fan of Fiction Reform back when the band was still active but, at the time, I was completely oblivious to frontwoman Brenna Red’s other band The Last Gang. Now, I can’t understand how I’ve overlooked this cool punk band for so damn long!
The Last Gang‘s own bio says that the band “picks up where The Distillers left off” and that frontwoman Brenna Red is “our generation’s Joan Jett“. Well, maybe it’s your generation’s Joan Jett. I’m a little older. My generation’s Joan Jett is actually Joan Jett. But, both statements are (arguably) true. Brenna Red is gifted with a raspy voice and the ability to sound like The Distillers‘ Brody Dalle when she snarls on punkier tracks and Joan Jett when she sings on poppier tracks. If you didn’t know otherwise, you’d probably think Jett was actually singing on Brenna Red’s solo single “This Is My City (L.A.)” or that Dalle was snarling on “Accosted” from The Last Gang‘s 2004 DIY album. So, is Brenna Red’s gift a blessing or a curse? Well, for me, it’s a blessing because Brody Dalle hasn’t done punk rock since The Distillers disbanded and Joan Jett sounds a little tired, so someone from your generation should carry on! Brenna Red’s got this.
The Last Gang is my new favorite band of the week. Out of Time and Continuity Breakout (Red 27) are underappreciated gems filled with catchy punk, garage rock and ska-punk inspired by The Clash [whose song “Last Gang in Town” from the album Give ’em Enough Rope (1978) is where I’m guessing The Last Gang takes their name] and Rancid [who were also heavily inspired by The Clash]. I’m looking forward to The Last Gang‘s upcoming album Salvation For Wolves but I’m also hoping that Brenna Red cuts more tracks with Brian Thoryk because “Love with a Suicide Girl” and “Punk Rock Christmas” are awesome singles!