History Repeated - A band name conflict has resulted in this new moniker for Sleeper Agent. The band still has the legendary John Stabb on vocals along with the guitarist from the previous version. I had not seen them in a while, but I think the bass player was newer (at least different from the guy I met a few years back). The 39 minute set tonight featured the same great sound that they have previously established. It has Stabb's signature short intense bursts of lyrics atop a mostly steady rhythm with a fascinating post punk grinding rock guitar style. It really twists around nicely reminding me a bit of Mission of Burma and even more of Proletariat. I almost want to say Flipper, but no band really sounds like Flipper and these guys are much too tight for that--closer to early Banshees perhaps. Great to see these guys continuing onward as this is a welcome sound, both familiar and unique in that very strange way. So learn the name and join me the next time these guys play.
Dot Dash - I only just saw this band in November, so for a full description, just check it out here. As far as tonight's set went, the only difference I noted was a smaller less excited audience which kept things a little low key. That's not a knock on the crowd as they listened closely and were quite supportive. It is just that the energy levels were lower which allowed me to appreciate the moodiness in some of the songs. I do enjoy this band now after several listens and they have a nice sound that works in varied settings.
Grey March - Wait a minute, this is a band from Baltimore that is playing DC for the first time in 25 years? Their last show was at the old 9:30 Club location. I will assume that they have not exactly been touring the globe in the meantime unless they truly were banned in DC. They consist of vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums and offer up a thick juicy post punk sound that immediately touches on Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen, and well, yes, they could have been preserved in a time capsule for 25 years. The tom tom work of the drummer is the one thing that stands out nicely, although the Morrison/McCulloch/Astbury/Curtis vocal stylings kind of punch you in the face. The guitar sometimes breaks out with some nice moves, but everything seems rather safe and predictable. It certainly is a nice sound, but it did not move me much beyond thinking of all these other bands. Still, if you like this sort of sound, these guys are talented and capable. And there are lasers, too.
Quote of the Night: From John Stabb... "We have a mailing list in the back. We will soon have merchandise again. We do have some t-shirts for Sleeper Agent--they are a fine band from Bowling Green, Kentucky."