Scout Niblett Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON — August 1, 2005

There's really no denying it now: grunge came back, at least a bit. And okay, even if it's just alive in Niblett's Kidnapped by Neptune record and her live show, then that's enough. In fact, let's hope nobody else even tries because what Scout Niblett has going on holds strength in its uniqueness and loner position. For years Scout has been working away at a few records, improving her skill and sound incrementally with each release. I Am was almost exclusively Scout on drums and call-out or sweetie pie vocals, some of which she displayed for a bemused but sort of confused audience on this night. But the clincher? It's in the guitars. With so many tiresome, toss away indie rock acts rotating through their individual moments of fame, then un-fame, it's nearly impossible to do something with a guitar these days that hits people square in the gut and soul. So, years of holding back on the use of the instrument makes Scout's new release amazing. The best moments of the show were undoubtedly the unadulterated and wilting guitar rock-outs where Niblett's Cobain-brow-furrow relaxed into a true smile as she stomped on her guitar pedals. If Niblett can continue chasing the grungy trajectory she's launched with Kidnapped, I'd say she's less than a few steps from being crowned the latest "girl with guitar" teen hero. Seriously, like L7 and Bikini Kill status is right around the corner. Introduce her to your 'tweens!