Hayley and the Crushers bring bright colors and mischief to San Pedro

Tucked away in the corner of San Pedro, California is a portal leading straight into NYC’s notorious 1990s punk rock scene. Low lighting, patched leather vests, and the smell of whiskey encompass The Sardine; a punk rock bar, record store, and music venue.

November 19th welcomed a night of old-school punk rock. Three female-fronted bands took the stage and incited thrashing like never seen before. Julez and the Rollerz, a 5-piece all-female, garage rock band from Los Angeles tied their capes around their respective necks and completely annihilated their set! 

Hayley and the Crushers were up next. I graciously accepted the invitation to photograph their set. The LA-turned-Detroit transplants immediately caught my eye. Their poolside glitter punk vibe and high-level energy were described by BUST magazine as, “like a Sour Patch Kid, [they] are unapologetically bright and fun with a hint of mischief.” That depiction could not have been more accurate and has me chuckling as I reminisce on that night. Decked out in a full metal studded body suit, front-woman Hayley Cain took the time to introduce the band, where I learned she shares the stage with her husband, Dr. Reid Cain ESQ (reasonably certain he isn’t actually a doctor or a lawyer). Typically, drummer Action Ben Cabreana joins the duo on drums. However, that night the crowd was treated to the heavy-hitting drum stylings of Sam Cole (The Circus Starts at Midnight). As well as the addition of John Miller on second guitar who can be heard shredding the strings on the band’s most recently debuted album, Modern Adult Kicks. Fans marched right up to the front of the stage to watch the candy-colored rockers give it all they got. 

The ribbing, the F-bombs, the moshing, the power poses from Dr. Cain, Hayley’s guitar playing while laying across the stage; collectively presented the feeling of being accepted into a wonderfully dysfunctional family.

Providing even more of the family vibe, the venue rang out a hilariously pitchy rendition of “Happy Birthday” as a flaming cake was given to Dr. Cain, who celebrated his 69th birthday in a way only suitable for rockers!

Stormhouse closed out the night with a set so intense the crowd was lost in awe. The third and final female-fronted band also hails from Los Angeles. If you missed them at The Sardine, you can catch them at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach on December 22nd.

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