The Theoretical Girls were among the most enigmatic of the late '70s New York no wave bands, famous not so much for their music, since they released only one single during their brief existence, but because the group launched the careers of two of New York's best known experimental music figures, composer Glenn Branca
and producer Wharton Tiers
. The latter played drums, the former guitar in the quartet, which also featured keyboardist Margaret DeWys and vocalist/guitarist Jeffrey Lohn, a classically trained composer who, like Branca and so many others in the no wave scene, wasn't interested in working with popular musical forms until inspired to do so by the explosion of punk rock. The group's sound was comparable to that of the other no wave bands working in Manhattan at the time, i.e. The Contortions
and DNA (4)
. Always confrontational and often funny in an aggressive way, the band's sound consistently displayed the influence of American minimalist composers, ranging from sparse, clattering rhythm pieces that sound like immediate forbear of early '80s Sonic Youth
to fascinatingly brutal, abrasive slabs of art-punk noise.