Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kohoutek - Lo-Pan - Eye - Ambition Burning -- Velvet Lounge - Mar 2 2012

Ambition Burning - I haven't seen this local trio in a while and although my memory may be faulty, it sounds like they have been rehearsing a bit. I enjoyed them well enough before, but they have tightened up considerably as their speed/death metal moves are crisp and well executed. There's plenty of punk attitude and sound in the mix and they are like a less flashy Valiant Thorr at times. 20 intense minutes tonight that gets things rolling nicely.

Eye - Four biker looking dudes on drums, bass, guitar and synthesizer scream off into a Melvins meets Hawkwind space. This is pounding ultraheavy psychedelic rock with cool synth waves and cutting lead guitar. The sound is great which is surprising considering the soundman had to put a garbage bag up over half of the board as the rain was dripping steadily onto it. Fans of Wooden Shijps and just about any heavy modern psyche band should jump all over this Columbus, Ohio band.

Lo-Pan - Also from Columbus, this four-piece changes the look and style enough to be clearly unique from their tour mates, but still very sympathetic in sound. These guys eschew the synth in lieu of an exclusive vocalist. The vocals are up front (in spite of him standing behind the drums) with great power reminiscent of Graveyard and Kyuss. I hear the old welcome sounds of the Groundhogs deep within as blues-based rock are at the core even though the wailing guitars and fretboard runs on bass take this up a notch on the psychedelic scale. These guys would be perfect on a bill with Sweden's Graveyard. Where on earth were these bands when I lived in Columbus in the early 80s? Aside from Ron House's likable bands, there wasn't anything this gutsy. Good crowd tonight was digging it, although they were oddly quiet at times (this band got on at midnight and both bands had shortened sets).
Kohoutek -  It has been a while since I have seen one of DC's finest psyche-Krautrock outfits and once again they are apart of a great bill. The core trio is here with two guys on the floor playing various noise boxes and creating an unyielding psychedelic swirl. The band tended to be a lot heavier from the start than is often the case with perhaps the rush of getting on stage before everyone going home being part of that (crowd thinned a bit due to the hour, but it was still a good crowd). Still, plenty of those great audio dynamics with the drums and guitar building up and down along the sonic landscape the the bass laying the perspective lines down on the horizon. They did play their usual half-hour set, getting off at 1:35 and everyone that stuck it out applauded a excellent finish to an excellent night of music.

Quote of the Night: The opening band... "Is it worth the wait?" Well, ultimately it was, but I still find it frustrating that the Velvet Lounge tries to pack in 4 bands with a show that starts at 10:29pm. This after they have supposedly moved up starting times for weekend shows to 9:30 from 10:00. I stayed fresh for all the bands (thanks to my Thursday night off), but opening bands had to shorten their sets and hustle equipment faster than usual just to get it all in. Plus, some of the crowd just didn't stick it out for the evening. There weren't too many people getting there late either, so an earlier start still would have resulted in a big crowd for the opening band. Again, this is why if I am undecided about which weekend show to go to with all things being relatively equal on the bands, I will almost always hit another club. But the Velvet Lounge does book some stellar shows, so I will certainly be back many times for those (as well as the weekday shows which often go more smoothly).

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