The Cell Phones - Don't let this little innocuous name fool you. And don't let a line-up that features a female vocalist, drummer, with one guy on acoustic bass let you think you are in for a relaxing time. This Chicago band packs a mighty punch that pretty much knocks you out of your seat and keeps you there. Girl Pop meets Grindcore? Those are their words and they cover things nicely. This as what the B-52s would have been if they eschewed cute and Arri Up took the helm. Maybe if members of Swell Maps and the Cramps tried to cover the first album Meat Puppets material would sound like this. The dramatic material and the persona that these three adopt is perfect for what modern punk rock should sound like, as opposed to mohican kids deconstructing Discharge songs in order to write other Discharge songs. The drummer is hyper fast and has a nice strobe light in his kick drum lighting up their logo. The singer can really belt it out and stay on top of the volume. And the bass player can really cook up the volume with thick bass lines or simple barre chords that resonate and echo like a post-punk electric guitar. This was way fun and all the smart people who know how to make it over to Sova for free shows featuring great bands from all over the country had a great time and demanded a two-song encore. Don't miss this band again if we are fortunate enough to get them back.
Silo Halo - You really don't want to miss a Silo Halo set either as they play some highly engaging post-punk, post rock, modern psyche drone music. There are three of them who vary the lead vocal work as well as the basses, guitars, and keyboards. Drum machines lay the beat and they take off. I find this music rather dreamy, but it is pretty hard and assertive much of the time, but I like drifting off in thought to something with a little guts to it, and this music has more than its fair share. A couple of songs really reminded me of classic Sonic Youth material which should appeal to many, especially now as we all look for that musical gap in our heads to be filled. The vocals were a bit soft and lost early on, but it was minor. They sustained a solid 46 minute set which was just right, capping off a great evening of diverse, yet complementary music.
Quote of the Night: Cell Phones getting on stage, discovering two people made set lists... "You made a set list, too. Wow, they are totally different!"