Paperhaus - The band tells me they are playing in a more pop direction lately. Evidence to support that is there right off the bat, but fear not edgy psyche fans, there is plenty of the old sound we have all come to love. The vocals have a slight cutting edge and the guitar interplay is crafty as ever. A few songs have some delectable pop hooks, and others are extended out in blues jams and a combination of jangle and reverb. It may be poppier with a few Byrdsian moves, but I hear the Feelies brand of edgy pop in there as well. The third song slowed it down but there was some serious skronk popping up, too. Add some epic Kattania style moves and you pretty much have it all from a band that has the assurance of holding it all together in a busy and enjoyable 30 minutes.
Widowspeak - This quartet comes in with light spacy pscyche-pop nuggets for our pleasure. The female vocalist/guitarist has a distant style with a trio of guys who can delicately jam with the best of them. They hit intriguing melodic grooves and reminded me of Jessie Sykes and her band although they kept it a little more ethereal. The vocals floated around care free in their own melodic pattern that somehow snugly fit in with the instrumental moves. They lost a little of the magic 2/3 the way through the set, but pulled it back with a strong closing number. This is definitely an appealing band to fans of older or newer rock forms.
Woods - Another Brooklyn quartet finishes things up tonight with a flourish. There has been quite a buzz about this band which had me wondering if they should not be in a bigger club. That turned about to be the case as the club was full early and completely packed for this powerful band. They start out with a fun pop-rock sound that reminded me of Sloan or the Posies. One guitarist handled lead vocals with a unique soft falsetto. The rhythm section featured silky bass lines and crackling drums. Another guitarist played electric six string and either an electric cittern or 12-string. When the singer took off the acoustic, the sounds moved into heavier psychedelic terrain. What made this band really amazing, is how they managed to keep the integrity of their pop-rock approach within dreamy and heavy psyche forms and extended jams. It then hit me that all three bands showed some elements of the band Love tonight. If you mix in a touch of Dead Meadow, you start heading toward the Woods. They were called back for a two-song encore by a very pumped up crowd and thoroughly nailed their hour+ set. Catch this band when and where you can, as the clubs simply have to get bigger with great songs and execution like this.
Quote of Night: Actually, earlier this week at the dentist...
Oral Surgeon poking me hard in the gums with me shaking my arms... "Are you alright?"
Me... "Aside from the extreme pain, I'm doing great."