Bruiser Queen
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Bruiser Queen

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Rock Pop




"In Your Room b/w Ms. Everything 7" Review"

Bursting forth from St. Louis with the force of a thousand toasted ravioli, BRUISER QUEEN blends 21st Century garage-punk stomp with 60's girl-group shimmy to create a sound raw enough to blow your speakers, yet sophisticated enough to blow your mind.

"In Your Room," the A-side of their latest whiz-bang offering on Certified PR Records, melds kitschy, SHANNON & THE CLAMS-like sixties-isms with the earnest, straight-ahead she-rock of modern troopers like THE ETTES, delivering a determined rocker that manages to be hammering without coming off as unskilled, and clever without appearing overly cute.

The flip side, "Ms. Everything," is a bittersweet and even catchier excursion down the same path, with Morgan Nusbaum's dynamite vocals acting as some manner of magnetic attention beacon over the top of Jason Potter's waves of miscellaneous crunchings -- the type of song that one'd imagine could be a big mainstream hit if it ever fell into the hands of blander practitioners ((at least in a happy, imaginary world where the earning of big mainstream hits is at least rudimentarily merit-based)).

Bruisers and queens alike will dig the six-and-a-quarter minutes of genius contained herein, as BRUISER QUEEN manage to strike the perfect balance between "bruiser" and "queen" whilst never once sounding sonically reminiscent of Dick Afflis putting a hammerlock on Freddy Mercury! - Rev. Norb

"Cruisin' For A Bruisin'"

Talking to Jason Potter and Morgan Nusbaum about their band Bruiser Queen is, sure enough, a fun experience. They're enthusiastic not only about their own pursuits, but also in linking St. Louis to other scenes, especially their favorite spot to tour and record, Memphis, Tenn. They're generally upbeat about most things, in fact, punctuating points with exclamations like "That sounds neat!"

The only problem in talking music with the pair is that they end one another's sentences with such regularity that note-taking becomes a near-impossible exercise.

"We're like one person," Nusbaum quips.

As a band, they're like two people, Nusbaum on guitar and vocals, Potter energetically seated at his drum kit. The group started out as a standard four-piece, but when members defected, they simply weren't replaced. For one thing, the principals felt like their sound didn't need the depth or sweetening extra musicians might bring. As evidenced by their outstanding, hook-heavy full-length debut, 2012's Swears, their decision to remain sonically lean wasn't a mistake. It's an album that rocks plenty.

But there's also practicality involved. The band loves to embark on quick weekender trips to shows out of town, when work hours allow. Riding in what Nusbaum refers to as "Adventuremobile" and "Little Vibey," the pair have aced the packing of their touring machine, a veteran Pontiac Vibe.

"It's perfect," Potter says. "Everything fits in the back, and it's got a 110-volt charger. It's got 220,000 miles, but yeah, it cruises. When it dies, I'll buy another one."

Already a busy group, one that's not afraid to break the "one show a month" edict fancied by a lot of original local music groups, the band might get a bit busier in the late winter: It's releasing several cuts from a Memphis recording date, with at least a 45 coming out, and a possible split 45 also spun from that session. On it, Nusbaum includes bass and organ, adding new elements to the band's sound, which Potter sketches out as "stylistically primal, garagey, punk-type stuff."

Both members of the group admit that self-promotion is still the one element that often goes lacking. Songwriting and gigging are constants. As visual artists, they produce their own flyers and collateral materials. They're plenty used to hosting touring bands on their trips into St. Louis, and they've got the air mattress to prove it. To the degree that they're interested in a label relationship, it's solely to continue pushing their sound outward: outta St. Louis and even outta their beloved Interstate 55 corridor.

But it's unsurprising that as a band that pretty much does everything for itself, the group isn't stressing about promotions, with a healthy respect for the straight-to-the-people opportunities that the modern Web allows.

"Our Bandcamp page," Potter says, "has been really good to us. That's been real powerful, real direct. You control the whole thing, the money comes directly to you, and the buyer can download directly there, with no need for special players. It's a really great tool." - Thomas Crone - St. Louis Magazine

"Rock: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominees"

Loud and messy, lean and mean, catchy and snarling, fast and unguarded, the music of Bruiser Queen demolishes any facile notions of garage rock. Based in just two musicians, lead singer and guitarist Morgan Nusbaum and drummer Jason Potter, Bruiser Queen wouldn't pull a punch if the world depended on it throwing the fight. Nusbaum's range as a singer, from a cutting snarl to a spiraling metallic wail, and Potter's crash-and-jab attack on the drums make for a potent, dance-inducing rock & roll show. - Roy Kasten - Riverfront Times

"Homespun Album Review: Bruiser Queen - Swears"

Few other talents have been as rewarding to watch develop and evolve as Morgan Nusbaum's. She's played in bands since high school but came to local acclaim as part of the 75s, where she played bass and gave soulful backing vocals to Laurel Mydock's self-proclaimed "girly-pop" songs. But fans of that band's twee pop saw Nusbaum as the vocal powerhouse, and Bruiser Queen became the inevitable platform for her pipes. She's spent the past few years working with drummer Jason Potter in honing the duo's sweet and buzzy brand of garage rock, which made her 2011 solo debut, Let It In, that much more of a surprise. That record proved that Nusbaum can handle the emotional weight of acoustic singer-songwriter territory, but Swears finds her and Potter doing what they do best — tossing off simple, crunchy chords and catty bons mots like doubloons at a parade.

As a rule, garage rock rides on adrenaline, muscle, repetition and little else, so the bulk of these three-minute bashers are heavy on thick, slabby chords and light on dynamic range; Potter's time with lovable east-side Neanderthals Left Arm informs much of Swears' instrumental approach. Opening track "You Are My Only" is rife with windmill guitar chords, but Nusbaum's multi-tracked vocals are another story — studio magic allows her to simultaneously rage in the verse and cool off with disembodied harmonies on the chorus. "Hunnies" in particular shows both the power of restraint and the nuance in Nusbaum's voice as the chorus builds to a desperate peak. Likewise, her release on the breakdown of "S.H.A." shivers like a saw and quavers like a theremin — not many singers can toss in a little Yma Sumac-like exotica in the middle of a two-chord assault. These moments of vocal prowess, when paired with the romantic push/pull of the lyrics, separate songs that are musically competent, if a little indistinct, over ten tracks and 30 minutes. But regardless of the din, it's clear that Nusbaum can clear enough space for her voice to come through. - Christian Schaeffer - Riverfront Times

"Girl Power: Best Coast, Bruiser Queen and Sleepy Kitty: Review and Photos"

With a caterwaul cry unlike Brubeck's or Cosentino's, Bruiser Queen's Morgan Nusbaum held her own in the middle of the lineup. Nusbaum's voice is dexterous, deftly coasting from cat-in-heat howls to the more subtle nuances heard throughout her solo work. Wild, and on key, Nusbaum was a hell of a show all by herself, and is probably the coolest chick in St. Louis. With every whip of her bleached-blonde mop, Nusbaum and drummer Jason Potter soared through their set with comfort. Even when their gear began to act up, unplugging itself several times, Nusbaum and Potter ran with it, "Sorry, I fucked up. I was rockin' too hard. Well, it's punk rock, who gives a shit, right?" Nusbaum offered as an apology. Apparently no one in the audience of the sold out Firebird gave a shit -- they responded with frenetic clapping and whistling. - Blair Stiles - Riverfront Times

"Live Review: PUJOL and Bruiser Queen at Off Broadway in St. Louis (7/8)"

Self-described “scuzz chunk rock n roll duo” Bruiser Queen shortly followed, a guitar/drums duo who managed to incorporate surprising amounts of melody in their punkish Karen O-meets-the-Pixies sound. The set ran through nearly all of the recently-released Swears, with Morgan Nusbaum’s vocals being the definite highlight of the show. From the sweet cooing during “I’m Yours” to the punk vigor in “Swears”, all atop Jason Potter’s frenetic drumming, the mellow crowd perked up considerably during the show, as Nusbaum demanded, and warranted, full attention. Her cutesy banter with the crowd, though in direct contradiction to her immense amount of attitude while singing, made the band all the more enjoyable, maybe even worthy of buying one of their imprinted canvas lunch totes. Maybe. - Caitlin Meyer - Consequence Of Sound

"bruiser queen “Telepathic Mind”"

bruiser queen is a great 60’s influenced garage rock duo that’s been hitting the Midwest hard for a number of years now. With great ability to create dynamic and dancey songs with great studio built harmonies they are guaranteed not to disappoint. Their single “Telepathic Mind” is out soon as a 7″, better grab a copy while you can! - Pop Occulture

"7 Feisty Singles"

This duo out of St. Louis combines the talents of Morgan Nusbaum (guitar/vocals) and Jason Potter (drums), but don’t start thinking the lack of bass or additional instrumentation is going to leave you with a bland, stripped-down sound. Oh no. Bruiser Queen is feisty and fun and won’t leave you wanting. Their new single, “Telepathic Mind”, is high-energy garage rock straight from the Midwest to your earholes. Check it out here… - YabYum Music & Arts

"Week in Pop"

Bruiser Queen dropped a listen to the a-side of their 7″ with the “freaking out tonight” garage fun of “Telepathic Mind” b/w “Rainbow in the Dark” available soon from Certified PR Records soon. The duo of Morgan Nusbaum & Jason Potter are working on an upcoming album titled Heavy High available in 2017 that promises upper latitudes & groovy gravitatioal longitudes & attitudes. - Impose


Between You, Me, and the Trash
Digital (2022)

Sound Check Song
This City Won't Take Us Alive
The Wild Ones
Crushing Out
Heart Strings
Drunk on the Internet
Play Dumb
Nobody's Dream Girl
High Dive MKE
Pretty Good Employee
Walking on My Grave (Dead Moon)

Heavy High
CD/LP (Certified PR Records CPR040 - 2017)

Sugar High
Telepathic Mind
Here Lies My Heart
Have Fun
The Way I Love You
Teenage Fire
The Kill
Sea Blue
Tonight We Dream

Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Edition)
Digital (Velvet Elk Records - 2018)

Question Mark House
Hunnie Hotel
Sugar High (Acoustic)
Have Fun (Acoustic)
Crushing Out (Acoustic)

Sweet Static
CD/LP (Boxing Clever Records - 2014)

Tiny Heart Attack
On The Radio
Girl Like Me
Invisible Girl
Save Me
Ain't It Enough
Late July
Some Girl's Ghost
Wear My Crown

CD (Empty City Records - 2012)
Cassette (Eat Tapes Records - 2013)
LP (Empty City Records - 2016)

You Are My Only
I'm Yours
Old Man Winter
Foolish Heart
Kiss Me In My Dreams
Wastoid Girl (JEFF the Brotherhood)
Scuzz Chunk



Is it the same album it would have been had it been completed before the world descended into utter chaos in March of 2020? There’s no way of knowing. Here’s what we do know: Bruiser Queen is back. They’re back with a massive new album, 'Between You, Me, and the Trash.' And if it sounds literal - it’s because it is. We see the duo (comprised of singer/guitarist, Morgan Nusbaum, and drummer, Jason Potter) popping off with more vigor and personal vulnerability than ever before.

Gone are the good-time sunshine vibes of 2017’s Heavy High (their most recent record to date). In its place sits loneliness, disappointment, sarcasm, and the scars of violence. Once gripping listeners with the raucous one-minute opener “Sound Check Song” - a staple of their recent live set - Bruiser Queen lays forth a landscape of what’s to come with “This City Won’t Take Us Alive.” Weaving together details of Potter’s bloody mugging outside a south city bar with accounts of her own automotive mowing-down as she attempted to cross the street on foot in broad daylight, it’s clear from the crack in her voice: Nusbaum’s had it up to here.

In early 2020, as the doldrums of global isolation set in, the band gave fans an early sneak-peek at the album’s direction, releasing dreamer “Crushing Out” and the autobiographical anthem, “The Wild Ones” as an EP of the same name. Listeners not only witnessed evolutionary growth in terms of song structure and expanded instrumentation, the band tipped its hand in terms of musical influence as well. We don’t ‘think’ they love late '70s/early '80s punk and '90s third-wave ska - we know damn well they do. Driving home the point is the EP’s closer, a ripping cover of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “Bad Reputation.”

In an effort to capture this big new sound, Bruiser Queen enlisted engineer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Gabe Usery at Encapsulated Studios back home in St. Louis, MO. Usery’s touch can be felt throughout, but most notably on the cheeky “Drunk on the Internet” and mid-album crusher “Play Dumb.”

As much of a stretch as all this sounds, the band isn’t completely unrecognizable from its previous garage pop form, on display since their 2012 debut LP, 'Swears.' It’s clear they’re still somehow hopeful. It’s clear they still love heartbeat stomp doo-wop (see, “Heart Strings” and “Nobody’s Dream Girl”). And it’s abundantly clear Nusbaum’s powerhouse voice remains unmatched - even if she herself is a little worse for wear.

Band Members