Yell County - A good tight, hard power pop/punk trio sort of in the Zeros/Ch 3 mode perhaps. Solid songs, strong playing throughout and even a few nice creative breaks amidst the grinding melodies. Mostly straight ahead and quite catchy. A nice DC band we have here.
The Gerunds - The first thing that struck me was a good Buzzcocks style sound, a bit dirtier perhaps, but strong and solid catchy hooks. The vocals threw me off into unknown territory. There were two primary vocalists and some back-up elsewhere. A very interesting clash of styles that was tricky to grasp but ultimately quite rewarding and unique. I could go into one of my long rants about "originality" but here is an example of good catchy rock music with a personal and original approach. No wheels reinvented, but a unique quality band that had the packed club involved from the outset. Nice Raymond Chandler references, too, so smart as well. But with a name like the Gerunds... The singer is from Dag Nasty many blue moons ago and they covered one of the old songs that I was surprised to instantly remember. Excellent set.
King Giant - Five bikers get plugged in and light the stick incense on the stage. So what do we get here? Well before the notes come, the singer says the first song is "Lady Whiskey". Hmmmm, could it be southern jam rock? maybe metal? a cover of Wishbone Ash? No, now the incense is getting to me. Well, it was metal/hard rock. Sabbathy type licks a bit steadier and unvarying. As the set went on, I did feel that things were much too steady. A good strong sound for fans of this genre, but no real variance. Not every band can be Opeth or should be Opeth, but I would have liked a bit more, especially since the set seemed long to me.
Kung Fury - The show was running a bit late, the set up was taking a while and finally this three piece kicks in and opens with my favorite Antmusic song, "Dog Eat Dog". A pretty dingy rocking version of it, though which set the tone for the originals. Decent, dirty hook oriented rock'n'roll not unlike Bobby Steele's post-Misfits band, the Undead. The sound wasn't quite as good at least at the start of the set. The vocals were a bit low and murky and the guitar didn't really punch in until after a few songs. The crowd gave them good feedback after initially appearing to peter out quite a bit (some did leave since it was after 12:30 when the set started). Like the Undead, this band isn't instantly accessible but there is a germ of an idea here. I will stay tuned for more.
Quote of the night: "John's wearing his speedo and Trevor has his arm around him and I say 'Trevor, did they catch that on camera?'"