Zoos of Berlin - This quartet is from Detroit not Berlin. I detected neither the classic MC5/Stooges sound out of them (let alone Motown), nor the steely arty krautrock from Berlin. Although the first song did make think of Hawkwind trying to sound like Supertramp. Ultimately, I think the band was more for fans of Modest Mouse or Maps + Atlases. Although I am not much a fan of this sound, the band did a nice job with it. They were good at bringing some interesting keyboard backgrounds in with a pulsating rhythm to the pop-rock tunes. A lot of dual vocals carried the songs. A fair effort that many will find engaging and the 25 people or so seemed engaged.
Deleted Scenes - It has been a while since I last saw this local four-piece. Their half-hour set was filled with their usual mix of guitars and keyboards playing catchy pop songs on top of an edgy, gutsy rhythm section. They rock out and have some great keyboard sounds that sound fairly old school in their otherwise modern take on hard edged pop music. Maybe a bit of Talking Heads at their edgiest? The sound was similar to the first band, but the added bite made things more interesting for me. The crowd had swelled to near 50 people, where it stayed the rest of the night. They were more respectful than many of the crowds these days and were having a nice time during this set.
Caverns - It has been a while since I have seen the mighty Caverns. If you have not read it here before, then know it now. This is one of the more original and exciting bands in the DC area. If you like heavy, hard music and are tired of the cliches, then you owe it to yourself to check out this band. One metal guitar, one powerhouse drummer and one classical-jazzy pianist create non-stop instrumental mania on stage. They only blasted away for 25 minutes tonight, but they had it going on with just a touch of sound imbalance that was corrected pretty quickly. I could drone on, but you get the idea.
Hammer No More the Fingers - I always thought this North Carolina band was from somewhere around here and was gratified to hear them say they felt this was their home away from home. They have grown a nice fanbase around here and the folks on the dance floor showed a lot of enthusiasm for their set. And why not? This power trio rocked hard with loads of power-pop moves to suck in the listeners. The guitar work is interesting in that it has a snakey, slippery feel during many of the verses and the breaks, but can power up for the choruses. The rhythm is good with inventive basslines and punchy drumming. They remind me of the Rhythm Pigs, an old Texas band that also even more formerly adopted DC as a home in the eighties. Hopefully this band will be a bit more remembered than the Pigs were, but for now, enjoy their output. This was a show to promote the CD and it hopefully aroused a lot of interest.
Quote of the Night: From Deleted Scenes after thanking the other bands... "Don't take (the tone of) my voice as a sign of irony, it's just that we're tired."