Princess and the Criminals
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Princess and the Criminals

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Surrounded by equipment in a small room with foam lining the left wall and a large cage of ferrets to the right, members of local punk band Princess and the Criminals hold their biweekly practices.

For a little over a year, they've made a name for themselves around town with their energetic punk shows that could intimidate most all-male acts.

Tiffany Banwart, Emily Lozen and Kim Thompson first started playing together in February 2006. After their bassist moved away, Rick Badger joined in August.

But it was after their first performance, inside an octagon-shaped living room at a friend's party, that realized this was something they could actually do.

"Once we found out we were capable of (playing gigs), we just kept going," said Thompson.

Since then they've enlivened Greenville audiences at Backdoor Skate shop, Moxie and The Phoenix, as well as punk fans at venues around Chapel Hill and Durham.

And with a full-length album and possible summer tour in the works, they plan to be around awhile.

Being the only mostly female band in town is both a blessing and a curse, according to the band. It makes them unique and memorable, but it can also make people skeptical of their talent.

"(Women) are seen as the weaker sex in the rock industry, but it's such a misconception," said Badger. "But these girls can (expletive) rock.

I have so many guys coming up at shows saying they didn't think (Lozen) would play good ... (but) her image is harder than most guys."

Each member's image and ideas are reflected in their songs, which cover a variety of topics and musical styles.

"Besides the fact that we have three girls, we're different because every song sounds like a different genre of music," said Lozen.

A fan favorite is their punk cover of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," while originals range from the light-hearted "Go Outside," to dark with "Smells Like Anger, Tastes Like Hate," to political songs like "America" and the seemingly random "Gingivitis."

They even wrote a track about the perils of Greenville traffic.

"It's more or less things we experience," said Banwart. "And then I'll turn it into a song."

- The Mixer (The Reflector) Greenville, NC


Punk darlings Princess and the Criminals tried to set the tone for the evening as students found seating on the floor and pool tables in the Pirate Underground.

“Come to the front; don’t be losers,” drummer Kim Thompson called from the back of the stage.

But even with one of the most energetic frontwomen in town, it may have been too early for the collegiate crowd.

“Let this crowd know what it feels like to be around some stinky punk kids,” vocalist Tiffany Banwart screamed.

- The Mixer (The Reflector) Greenville, NC


Local punk-rock band Princess and the Criminals annouced they've recently been signed to Queer Control Records, based out of in San Francisco.

"The label will be doing a little bit of everything," said drummer Kimberly Crash. "They will be distributing any records or merchandise of PATC. They will also help in promoting the band through various means such as MySpace, their Website and podcasts."

She said they're also putting together a showcase in Baltimore this June.

- The Mixer-Daily Reflector


Led by a pumped-up frontwoman and backed by crew of animated guys (and a powerhouse gal drummer!), Greenville, N.C., punk-rock four-piece band Princess and the Criminals puts on one of the best live shows the mid-Atlantic has seen lately. - The Baltimore Examiner


Discography

PATC-Demo (December 2006)
PATC-Crusty Milk EP (March 2008)
PATC-Politically Acceptable Timeless Classics (September 2009)

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Bio

Formed in 2006 in Eastern North Carolina, Princess and the Criminals have created the ultimate musical trinity by combining punk, ska, and riot grrl. The result of their alchemy: an orgasmic experience! With Rick Badger's sultry guitar bends, Anthony Sivore's savory bass walks, Kimberly Thompson's voluptuous powerhouse chops, and Tiffany Banwart's vivacious presence and provocative roar, the band has redefined and reestablished punk music in North Carolina and along the East Coast. Therefore, get ready to be grabbed by the balls and/or punched in the vagina, because Princess and the Criminals enjoys shocking and assaulting individuals into a higher state of consciousness, literally and figuratively.