Sunday, December 18, 2011

Woods - Purling Hiss - Mmoss - Hume -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Dec17 2011

Hume - I arrived while they were playing their first song and unfortunately not enough people were here early to see this excellent local band. They lined up with two kit drummers, a guitarist and bassist/vocalist. The guitarist spent about 1/4 of the time on his knees... and that would be 'playing' his pedals and switchboxes. They even switched microphone cords as they were treating the vocals from the stage. And even without describing the output, that probably gives you an idea of what they sound like, although each time I see them, there does appear to be some changes (at least in my memory). I would say anyone who likes Caribou and electronic-pop stylists like that would have enjoyed tonight's set. These guys are slick and compelling. The percussion really sharpened things up nicely and the two noisemakers were incredibly loud tonight. In fact, I thought the volume was causing the ceiling to peel away as flakes were slowing coming down during the set (Turns out there must have been some lingering confetti or something as this slowly and steadily went on all night). The only downer (aside from forgetting my earplugs) was that only about 15 people were here earlier enough to enjoy this. But I am sure there will be additional chances soon enough.

Mmoss - This four-piece from New England lines up with guitar, bass, drums, and flute/farfisa. I like that combination straight away and pretty much enjoy every note of this set. The guitarist sings lead and although this is some intriguing dreamy blend of assertive psyche moves, most of the songs are short and well defined. I am hearing elements of Might Baby, Pink Floyd, Ant Trip Ceremony, and even some Igra Staklenih Perli (my favorite band from Yugoslavia). Just as I note the shorter songs, they go into a longer jam. However, it could not have been too long, as they finished off their set in 22 minutes with a sarcastic comment from their guitarist to a Guitar center? Great sounds and pretty good songs, but I will need to hear a bit more. But I heard enough to want to see this band again some time.

Purling Hiss - I have seen this Phillie three-piece once before at the Black Cat, I believe, and I enjoyed the set quite a bit. They are a power trio specializing in rather powerful rock with a touch of pop. It's post punk in the manner of some of the pre-grunge bands like Tales of Terror, Green River, etc., although this is not as twisted-psyche and is more classic riffage. They differ a bit from local band 'the Jones' perhaps with this post punk meets classic blues-rock style. The vocals were a tad low tonight and it took a few songs before they hit their stride, but their half-hour went well.
Photo of WOODS
Woods - What is a four-band bill without at least one band from Brooklyn? In this case, it would have been quite nice, but incomplete. I really wanted to see this band and they exceeded my expectations and then some. There were maybe 100 people here by now, so this band does have its fans. They switched instruments a bit, but it was guitars, bass, drums, synthesizer and harmonica at times. One guitarist sang lead with a clean high pitched tone which was quite unique. It really pushed the psychedelic sound into a psyche-pop style. These were lovely little nuggets with loads of catchy hooks in addition to the vocals. The third song took a darker turn with a long jam of an introduction, but the vocals brought some light. They jammed a bit more, not quite as darkly, and this formula continued with assertive, intriguing Dead Meadow (and even mid-era Pink Floyd) like jams and more pop oriented songs when the singing kicked in. This was lovely music and just what I needed before my holiday travels. I am a full-fledged fan of this band now and I hope their recorded music is as good as this set. I am guessing, unlike some psyche bands, this translates well as these songs did penetrate pretty deeply.

Quote of the Night: From Purling Hiss after a set up of over a half-hour due to cord/amp problems... "I'm a little slow tonight. Sorry, but I had some things mess up. I'll try to make it up to you." Thanks, and after finishing Duff McKagan's quite decent autobiography where he discussed Axl Rose routinely being 1-2 hours late creating thousands of booing fans, I am not even slightly bothered by this.

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