Cav Scout - This trio features Nathan and Chris from the Archivists on guitar/vocals with a drummer. Due to some new born children entering the Archivists world, these guys needed a side project and came up with a good one. It is always the correct move to try a different twist to what you did before and they have done that here similar to the twists of Rites of Spring into Happy Go Licky or my old buddy Ron House's switch from Great Plains to Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments. The guys have all new songs that had a nice garagey feel without being overly psychedelic. They allow space and slower tempos to give room for their solid vocal work and interesting guitar sounds. The drummer keeps things rooted nicely and the songs have their catchy melodic moments and their ethereal jam sections. Good stuff here, so keep this name in mind. Hopefully they will roll with this for a while.
The Neon Rush - Hmmm... those X's on all four of the members are certainly a clue as to the band's age and level of experience. They are a two guitar four piece with one guitar on lead vocals and two of the other guys assisting. They begin with kind of a power-pop/indie rock hybrid, but steadily move into heavier territory. They did a couple of covers--as usual I knew just one of them, "With a Little Help from my Friends" which surprisingly sounded closer to Joe Cocker than the Beatles. They have some nice songs to work off of that rock out well and have good spacey moments and guitar work. Some of the elements do not always mesh (drum breaks at times) but these guys can make a go of it. They may not be Squirrel Bait, but they are better than Eater. Keep playing.
Kink Ador - Nashville? I would not have guess that as the origin of this gutsy little power trio. I was not at all sure what to expect but their power and control of their sound from the very first notes had me at full attention which lasted for their entire set. There was a bit of a power-pop/new wave kind of approach initially. The bass player's vocals were much stronger than Belinda Carlisle but didn't quite hit Poly Styrene range (who does?). The vocals were challenged by the intensity and guts of the three musicians underneath and she was up to the challenge. The drummer really pushed things forward with strength and that little extra surge that makes a good band into a great band. The guitar work was fiery with really cool reverb and other effects in play. Bass playing (and some cool trumpet) was solid and these songs cooked--maybe there was a bit of X-Ray Spex in here. Fun rocking stuff here. The small crowd was quite supportive (as they had been all night). They are doing a five-week tour and are likely picking up a few fans like me who did not on lick about them previously. This is a good reminder for me to continue to check out shows where I don't know anything about the headliner. You can discover some mighty interesting music that way.
Quote of the Night: From the 'with friends like these department', the Neon Rush singer and an audience member behind me had this exchange:
"I admit that we actually played here last night, too."
"I was here last night. Tonight's way better. Last night you sucked."