Boardroom Heroes - As much as I needed a night off, the attraction of a good clean hardcore show at the Backstage part of the Black Cat was too good an idea for me to miss. I do need the energized playing of young musicians every now and then and this area quartet sated that desire tonight. The bass player handled the positive melodic vocals with the right amount of energy and tone. The drums rollicked along with two guitarists blasting away consistently throughout the forty minute set. It is tough to maintain the energy over 40 minutes, but the band did a great job of it. There was a bit of a lull in the middle as the stage patter was getting a little long, due mostly to an energetic crowd conversing with the band. I won't fault that much, as it was all smiles and good fun and the band revved it up to close strong. The key was in the guitar parts with the two guys straying from simple power chords quite often, where there were more creative counterpart moves than one often sees in hardcore. Hopefully they will further this with a few more change-ups in the songwriting. If so, they could be pretty awesome. As it is, they are doing just fine and delivered a fun set with plenty of quality attached.
Kill Lincoln - The popularity of ska-punk must be great for all those high school brass band players who don't want to head into jazz. We have two trombones and a sax joining with a power trio to create another approach to this popular genre. These guys keep the guitar, bass, and drums at a roar with only a few funky rhythmic moves. The ska part is pretty much left to the brass who blast in and out of the songs with plenty of power and finesse. The vocals were a little harsh and the sound was a bit hard on the ears for the most part. I love the power, but a little touch in the overall sound would really elevate things to a higher level. It still worked nicely as is, and a good crowd of 40-50 were having a great time tonight--good support for a couple of energetic young local bands.
Quote of the Night: From the opening band discussing the recent tour these bands did in the northeast... "We just Baltimore with Kill Lincoln. It wasn't even the same venue, it was the same town, but that is the nature of this tour."