Caustic Casanova - This local power trio is back from South by Southwest and a surrounding week-long tour which hopefully got them a few new fans hungry for their twisted take on hard rock music. Their half-hour set on the big stage featured heavily from music from their recent album. Their usual psychedelic take on alt-metal went over well with a rather small crowd tonight. Only about 30-35 present, but the crowd was enthusiastic and made its way up front. They are opening for a wild Japanese metal band it struck me that this band would do extremely well over in Japan. Ah, but for the costs and logistical issues that would propose. But Japan's loss is our gain. For although there are lots of great bands in the DC area, here is one that adds a highly unique flavor to the mix. It is nice to see them at the Black Cat as part of this interesting bill.
Thee Lolitas - Another local trio that I more familiar with at the Velvet Lounge makes its way to the big stage here. They play a raw and raucous down and dirty brand of punk rawk, with even a hint of Doctor Feelgood in here. I was reminded of something I read earlier today in a Progressive Music forum. They were debating a statement by Greg Lake saying that punk rock was not a musical movement. First off, I could not even believe this generated discussion beyond mere derision. As one of my peers used to say when having a mortgage banker argue with him about the findings he had presented that disclosed errors in their underwriting decisions--"this is not a fucking debate." Anyone from that prog forum is welcome to clubs like this featuring bands like these doing their original music inspired by... was it "Karn Evil 9"? No wait, that was actually the Stooges "Dirt" that this rhythm section was warming up with. Steve Hackett or Johnny Ramone? You won't get confused by these sort of challenges when you spend your time debating Enid vs. Eloy. For me, I want it all and Thee Lolitas delivered everything I expected tonight.
Added note-- Kudos to the band for covering the classic 70s punk song "Agitated" by Cleveland's the Electric Eels. Nice choice for those of us that picked up on the tie-in tonight.
Hot ChaCha - This power trio had a female vocalist who exhibited a deep throated power in the opening raucous number. They sludged it out a bit and played around with noisy punk forms for their 18 minute set. The singer got in the crowd and pulled a semi-willing member of the crowd on stage. He was having fun, but got a bit of fear in his eye when he was not certain exactly how far the singer was going to go beyond pulling his shirt off. This was a bit shambolic by design with plenty of Iggy stylings, but it was never boring and got the crowd even more revved up with the Crampsian-X style that they finished with.
Electric Eel Shock - Crazy Japanese metal. These three guys make Boris look like a chamber quartet. They hit the stage to Iron Man with the singer/guitarist leading the crowd in a karaoke version for a verse. Then they are ready to rip into their own songs. The guys with axes are flashy with plenty of cliche metal moves delivered with speed and integrity (and by integrity, I mean a complete enthusiastic honesty in the manner of a satirist who completely accepts his subject). The drummer is wearing shoes and socks, two black gloves and one elongated sock. He often plays with two sticks in each hand. The last time I saw this was when someone was playing a xylophone. The crowd was a bit larger than earlier but still smaller than I would have liked. But what was great was that I have never seen a higher percentage of people up front at any show in recent memory. Basically, if you were not smiling with this fun loving band, then you would have left long ago. The music was crazy fun metal with lots of humor like Beatallica, Vandals, Hanoi Rocks, maybe a touch of Fang even. Carnivals are fun and I enjoyed all of this 50+ minute set. They played many recognizable metal riffs here and there and included a full "Iron Man". The mini-riffs reminded me of some brilliant medley I heard from Japan's 'Boredoms' who linked classic rock and metal riffs each played for only a few measures over the course of several minutes. But Electric Eel Shock takes all of this to an extremely crazed and fun level that had people yelling for an encore rather than standing there expecting one. Someone told me that these guys ripped apart South by Southwest, which is cool by me. We all need bands like this to wake us up from time to time.
Quote of the Night: Getting to the club a couple minutes early, I sat near the pool table where the light was good enough to read my book. "Are looking for a game or just watching the table?"
"Actually, I'm reading a book." That really confused him for some reason.