Monday, February 14, 2011

The Silver Liners - We Were Pirates - Time Travel -- Black Cat - Feb 13 2011

Time Travel - This had the look of being a very early show from this band. If it wasn't obvious from the set, it was tipped off right before when the guitarist tried to give me their guest list thinking I was the doorman, as I sat at a table inside the downstairs room with my notebook out looking officious. He and his rhythm section hit the stage with a modest Sunday night crowd. The guitarist sang, way too softly early, but improved due to the soundman figuring it out rather slowly. The first song had sinewy guitar runs while the second was more power riffing. Nice variance as they strove for a catchy indie rock sound for the most part. The third song, "Whiskey and Water" had the best pop hooks of their set. It was all catchy enough and although they had only 18 minutes for the crowd tonight, it was not a bad set. With work, it could evolve into something.

We Were Pirates - I last saw this band open for the Silver Liners, so only the location changes for tonight's set. I do remember them being a bit more gutsy pop than hard rock and that looked the case tonight. They kind of had a latter-day or post-Husker Du sound to them. And two songs after making note of that, they do a Pixies cover thus confirming my theory. They have twin guitars and a rhythm section with solid vocals throughout. The crowd has swelled to nearly 50 and were attentive and having a decent enough time of it all. The band got a little safe and secure by set's end and seemed almost too relaxed. I would like to see them let it rip a bit more, but I guess that was back in the days when they were pirates. All told, they are a quality band that is worth a look.


The Silver Liners - This up and coming band took top honors in the fan voting of Deli Magazine's DC Breakout Band of 2010. They finished 9th overall with local favorites Deleted Scenes taking the overall prize. The Liners line up as a five-piece with a couple of guitars and keyboards and seem to be playing out regularly. They have a strong pop-rock song with more than their fair share of hooks. Vocals can be the easiest area to grab onto during their better songs. The synth solos lend a rather 1980s quality to the music that I would frankly like to forget. But when the guitars and vocals get going above the pulsating rock rhythms, they sound pretty good. I think they are getting sharper and although they are not all the way for me just yet, they are close enough to warrant a nice fan base. And they will be testing that in Vienna this Friday at Jammin Java's Battle of the Bands show. Good luck, although I think the idea of bands battling is also something best left in the '80s.

Quote of the Night: "What are you listening to?" I got this a couple of times this week when plugged into my IPOD. I may just start lying from hereon, because if it happens to be something like Stone Angel, an obscure psyche-folk act from the UK, there are probably only a couple dozen people at most in this sharp city who know who they are (and I know 3-4 of them). I think I will pick something more accessible where the conversation can make more sense. My friend hates going at parties (usually business related) and getting hit with "So I hear you're into music, who do you likc?" "Well, I've been playing Motorpsycho and Mastodon lately" is not always good for future business, let alone immediate conversation, especially when they counter with their love of Hotel California. I hate lying, but I think I may have to come up with some cliche answer before going deep into the little known.

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