Flown - This female power trio is from Brooklyn and they brought with them a severe case of the heavies. They lay out some of the thickest, heaviest metal stoner riffs this side of Black Sabbath. But they go well beyond the confines of sludge metal, with fascinating forays into psychedelic worlds. They do this with the instrumentation, but even more importantly in the vocals where all three members join in. They have twisted psyche-gothic moves that remind me some of United Bible Studies. Of course, they sing with gnarled intensity when the music heats up and the riffs start flying. They continue to vary the volume and vocal style keeping a fair amount of tension in the set. It works because they manage to keep you glued to their sound when the go from the lower depths to soaring heights, yet completely skipping the dullish middle ground. I enjoyed how they appropriated a wonderful Hawkwind riff and quickly moved it into a creative powerhouse of their own making, available on their recent single. This is powerful and fully involving with their great grasp of style. As the songwriting will likely to produce more gems, this band could be a great presence on the modern extended psyche scene. Feral Grrrl Psychedelia? It works for me and worked for the 25-30 people digging the sounds tonight.
Cherry Tree - This local power trio left the Black Cat backstage smoking hot a couple months back and I was quite happy to catch them again. All the brilliant early 1970s monster riffs were back complete with thick bass, powerful drumming, and tuneful vocal work that somehow makes it through the mix. The added dimension I noticed in one of their brand new songs and a couple of the others was that they do manage to integrate some power pop in there as well. I heard a bit of the Only Ones tonight, which is an excellent way of changing the style a bit to give some nice contrast in a long set. There still is a lot of the throwback style, but with this kind of youthful energy, it is hard not to get caught up in it. And if you grew up with this like I did, all the better. I really hope that the masses that flock to the Black Keys and many other successful bands that pull from the 70s find there way out of the arenas and into the clubs to discover bands like Cherry Tree. You will only have to manage 5-10% of the crowd, pay 5-10% of the cover to get in, and for my money, receive nearly 100% of the musical value. May this band continue to gig and continue to prosper.
Club update... I've had my issues with this club before, and it still starts a little late in a remote part of town which will always be a bit of a challenge for me. But, they continue to book quality shows and tonight's show ran smoothly and was a lot of fun. And as I was thinking how pleasant it all was as I was walking out the door, chatting with Davis from Lorelei (go see them at the Black Cat this Wednesday!) just before 1am, when boom--I was actually walking into the glass door (think Sid and Nancy without any breakage). I took it all on the nose, but am still reminded today of how happy I am that I never took up boxing.