Words by Emma Scrace
On Friday 25th November 2022, The Aces played at the Brighton Centre supporting The Vamps on their UK 10-year anniversary tour. The alternative indie-pop band is made up of sisters Cristal Ramirez on vocals, Alisa Ramirez on drums and guitar and friends Mckenna Petty on bass and Katie Henderson on lead guitar and vocals. This was the first time I had seen the band, but I was blown-away by their guitar riffs, honest lyrics and captivating stage presence.
Their performance opened with their new debut single ‘Girls Make Me Wanna Die’ with infectious energy and enthusiasm. Their songs have a catchy beat that make you want to get up and dance. The awesome guitar riffs create their alternative-pop sound. Katie’s iconic bass plucking and Cristal’s catchy melodies really demonstrates their grunge-inspired take on pop music and explains why they are often compared to HAIM with their laid-back cool-girl image.
The Aces are very open and passionate about their support of LGBTQ+ identities, and many of their songs are relatable with queer experiences. They do not shy away from using ‘she/they’ pronouns in their lyrics about love interests. The band have expressed their desire to remould the idea of “girl bands”, which I believe they succeeded in doing in their show in Brighton. Their demanding presence on stage, the leather jackets and their relatable lyrics make them an exciting model for modern “girl bands” and LGBTQ+ artists in the indie-pop music industry.
Cristal had a captivating performative stage presence and there was a clear love and friendship between the girls and sisters onstage. It felt like we had been invited to watch and join friends jamming out. Both Cristal and Katie have incredibly strong vocals which complement each other beautifully, creating remarkable harmonies.
Cristal involved the crowd in their performance during their song ‘My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me’, an incredibly self-aware song relating to the hopeless experiences of dating in the modern world, as she attempted a call and response of the chorus. However, disappointingly, The Vamps crowd, either too young or too caught up in their boyband era, didn’t give back the same energy The Aces were giving out. It would be great to see The Aces performing surrounded by their fans to experience their full performance potential. Perhaps the young crowd were not able to relate to their angsty girl image and lyrics. However, my experience of The Aces was very different as their sound was incredibly exciting and refreshing. I would describe them as electric, and I am very excited to see what they do next.