Supervoid - A well booked and very 'eavy lineup tonight at the Velvet Lounge begins with a quintet from 'Planet Pittsburgh'. They have a thunderous rhythm section, powerhouse lead vocalist and two guitarists who alternate between psyche moves and power chords. Their songs were thoroughly HVY as it says in my notes, but they went in a couple of directions. When they slowed it a bit they had elements of classic rock and death metal. When they sped it up more, it was more in Wooden Shjips territory with a powerful rhythm and psyche washes stabbing out of the maelstrom of controlled noise. The 39 minute set worked up the large crowd quite nicely and got things rocking and rollicking as intended.
Been Obscene - Next up is a quartet all the way from Salzburg, Austria. For a sizable western European country, I have been surprised how few Austrian bands I run into either on tour or through record collecting circles. Fortunately, the quality heavily outweighed the quantity issue tonight as this group has yet another personal take on hard psychedelic rock music. They start instrumentally but work in vocals frequently enough to show up as separate identifiable songs. They create a strong psychedelic atmosphere, yet engage in sharp chordal shifts and precise tempo and melodic adjustments. The drummer is an absolute master at crisp, yet powerful strokes. The band works off of that and locks in a manner of a lighter System of Down. I also sense some of the skill that a band like Motorpsycho puts on display, but the music here is not quite that complex. It is more thoughtful than most, but the gutsy psyche atmosphere created here is quite personal and easy to grab on to. The only gripe I had was the 35 minute set up time for their 42 minute set. It is a little tough in this club especially with a crowd of 60-70 people here tonight. Here's hoping they stick around as it will approach midnight before the next band gets on.
Borracho - Thankfully, there is a huge crowd that stays for the full nearly 50 minute set of this powerful local trio. This is simple, straight forward massive hard rock music with a full knowledge of heavy sounds from 1967 up to today. And of course, there is nothing simple about it when you get it right. These guys have the sound from the careful yet powerful drumming, to the roaring bass lines, and to the Sabbathy riffs. The chords lean to Black Sabbath with the solos to Blue Cheer, while the guitarist's vocals aspire to the power of Mountain's Leslie West. This concrete cracking music was unrelenting and capped off the evening in magnificent fashion with the crowd greedingly gorging on the all you can eat decibel count from every band tonight. If you dread the idea of going in a boxing ring or karate dojo to get pummeled for an evening of fun, check out Borracho instead. I've seen some good heavyweights around town in recent months, and these guys can hold their own against 'em all.
Obit of Note.... Paul Williams died recently. This was not the short singer songwriter, but the founder of Crawdaddy magazine and one of the earliest and most important rock writers. Every blogger should pay tribute as he elevated rock writing into an art form and also set the stage for the proliferation of fanzines and now music blogs. He often does not get his due as much as Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, and others, but hopefully the obits will appear in major news sources.