Shark Week - This two-guitar four-piece comes from some beach in Connecticut. After a long noodling warm-up, I am not too optimistic. And when they kick it in an interesting garage rock spews out. It is a bit ragged early on, but really tightens up quickly. They throw all sorts of curveballs and change-ups in tempo, volume, and style. But as they seemingly meander around the beat, they showcase that wonderful innate ability to not lose sight of the song whilst they give they impression they could implode at any moment. It is the sort of excitement generated by bands like Crazy Horse, Guided by Voices or one of my all time favorites that few have heard of, Ragged Bags (not releasing a record sort of leads to being unknown). This is personal take on many forms of garage rock and musical forms from different eras. Excellent set from a band I will be keeping my eye on. They have provided many clues to the puzzle.
Spirit Animal - The drummer pounds out solid beats. The bass player has a flexible groove thing going on. The guitarist has a shimmering sound with raging power. The singer is this big intense guy who plays a synthesizer at times (once by sitting on it). They start with a snakey psyche jam, but head off into danceable music that almost rocks a bit too much for dance, were it not for their infectious melodies and intense but playful rhythms. It has been a really big and good crowd tonight, but they have really packed out the downstairs room by now. They do seem to appreciate the originality this band has and if you can handle the distinct elements in your head, the overall effect is quite pleasing. I would not likely listen to this everyday, but it is the second breath of fresh air I have welcomed tonight. It is simply great to see bands that are accomplished at their sound and have confidence and energy to present their songs. It is a winning formula repeated over and over and Spirit Animal did it again tonight.
Quote of the Night: From Spirit Animal's vocalist... "I think my shoe's untied. That's my worst nightmare. Tells you a lot about me."