Friday, March 22, 2013

Cherry Tree - Stereosleep - Green Light at the End -- Black Cat - Mar 21 2013

Green Light at the End - It has been a while since I have seen this band when they used to be known as the Resistance. They are adding songs to their repertoire, but the sound is familiar and welcoming as it had been previously. They have a drummer who assists with backing vocals, guitar, bass, and a lead vocalist who alternates between guitar and keyboards. All four of these guys can play and it is pretty much a straight-ahead rock approach. The drums are particularly powerful and the guitarist work well together as you can see them playing on different parts of the fretboard far more often than not. I prefer the twin guitar a little more than the keyboards, but I am glad they switch it around as the keyboard songs bring out some contrasting pop elements which round out the set. Ultimately they rock it out in a warm manner, not unlike many bands did in the Rites of Spring mold a few decades back. It is a bit more relaxed than that, but can resonate in that same deep way with their better songs. This local band is worth going out of your way for.

Stereosleep - It is another repeat viewing for me of a similiar local four-piece that features a twin guitar attack with the occasional keyboard switch. They also have a strong melodic sense in their heavy hitting rock attack that features some fine songwriting. I love the guitar work, but the bass was a little high in the mix tonight which muddied up a few songs more than I would have liked. Still, the rhythm section was driving hard and it was a fun and propulsive set. They had the ability to mix in some nice rhythm shifts in a few of the latter songs which had the positive effect of loosening things up a bit and the crowd responded favorably. But we all ultimately appreciated the heavy hard rocking approach just as well, I think. Ultimately their songcraft is of a quality that you do want to dig into what they were doing while you lean forward and throb to the heavy beats and dual guitar power.
Cherry Tree - I thought this local power trio looked like some mediocre band I saw in this club a couple years ago. It didn't take long before I realized this was a case of mistaken identity. These guys are jaw droppingly good with their approach to classic 1970s hard rock. They could lay down a beat like AC/DC while firing away with the speed and power of early Montrose or Budgie, while holding down a clean vocal line like Steamhammer. Many good bands can take hold of this style and do well enough with it, but you sound so fresh and innovative. It is far from simple and these guys some how come up with their own formula. They are young and likely have many modern influences which helps their shape. And as needed in every three-piece, they all are excellent players with the bass player deftly handling the lead vocal work. They even added a touch of boogie later in the set. This is a fun band that any rock fan from any era should check out. The crowd was definitely digging the sounds here which capped off a great night of straight-forward hard rocking music, not without creative personal touches. I particularly enjoyed the contrast of the eclectic bands I heard the previous night. Seeing so much music reminds me of what I learned long ago... I like both the simplest music as well as the most complex sound so long as the bands bring personality/creativity, enthusiasm, and some sort of skill to their songs. Simple as that...

Why I left Business for Good to Write about Music... Reason #9:  I was chatting with a friend about my portfolio, which is important now and then after you retire at age 48. He was curious as to what one company did and I had forgotten, as it had been about a year since I researched it. We were thoroughly enlightened when I read him the description that came up in their overview at Morningstar....

"MKS Instruments, Inc. is a provider of instruments, subsystems and process control solutions that measure, control, power, monitor and analyze critical parameters of advanced manufacturing processes to improve process performance and productivity."

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