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Scrub, the first act signed to the new Sol 3 label, has a fetish for body piercing. “It’s the way the band bonds together,” says lead singer Petra. “It is a part of who we are….Whenever we’re bored we pierce each other.” Guitarist Dondy, who owns a piercing salon in Manassas, travels with the tools of the trade—forceps, pliers, and pre-sealed surgical steel needles—and turns every gig into a body-adornment festival, piercing audience members after the show.

Before puncturing the crowd with needles Scrub goes after it with sound. Its debut album, Wake Up, is charged with enough screaming noise to drive any insomniac insane. While the band makes like a cross between Hole, No Doubt, and Korn, the singer, armed with attitude, delivers the band’s message of self-empowerment in songs laced with references to obsession, domination, incest, suicide, and drug abuse.

Scrub has a point to make—one that is not new. The first single, “Perfect,” is another ’90s no-bullshit anthem from the perspective of a woman who has suffered through yet another bad relationship. Petra blames her ex-lover for creating a “perfect mess” and urges him to “get back….It’s my life.” But a few cuts on the album, such as “Why” and “The Real World” are melodramatic biographical pieces that Petra’s sexy, aggressive voice punches clean through.

—Arthur Mantle