Give - Hardcore, straight up, no chasers. The formula has been long established, but what can a band bring into this fairly rigid concoction? Give brings the energy and just enough musicianship to make for a pretty good 27 minutes of fast, loud hardcore rock. The guitars swirl and have a metallic crunch that was enough to liven up the crowd and get the evening started. And the summer months do bring out the younger crowds which is really cool, as you see a lot of fresh faces that are respectful and enthusiastic about partaking in the live experience of seeing music made. And this band did create a nice din of noise for everyone. One song seemed to stand out to me for some reason, but mostly the vocal work and pounding rhythms were more predictable. So nothing spectacular here, but a solid delivery system for this brand of music.
Chain and the Gang - This is a four-piece all female band with one guy known as Chain co-singing with one woman. Highly rudimentary musical moves are made on the drums, bass, and guitar, and it is no surprise to later learn that this local band records on K Records. I was hoping for a little more in the way of Gun Club, but ended up with less than Tex & the Horseheads. They were far outside of psychedelic parameters with their own brand of minimalism. The male vocals took the lead and were gnarled and oddball with the female supporting vocals more natural. They looked a little like Alan Vega and Poly Styrene (much more restrained however), although this reminded me more of a pairing of Zeppo Marx and Jerry Van Dyke. If you grade with a curve toward originality points, then you definitely want to give this band a try. 45 minutes was a little long for me, but I appreciate the approach.
Lemuria - This Buffalo trio has some local ties as they have recorded with local legend J. Robbins a few times, including on their third album, whose supporting tour brings them here tonight. They are loud and tuneful and play a spirited and highly catchy brand of punk rock. Fortunately the soundman controlled the early sharp bursts, while keeping the volume which allowed the excitement to continue with allowing the songs to show off their hooks. They have almost a Joy Formidable meets Ted Leo sound, although it may be more that they look like the Joy Formidable on stage. I also detect some nice Husker Du moments where that band was finding pop music while grinding out intense rock noise simultaneously. There is always a place for bands that can cut it loose like this, but have real songs you can grab on to. The crowd was into it and it was Saturday night, so there is not much more to say. Long may they rock.
Quote of the Night: From Chain... "If you didn't see the sign over the door, it says Black Cat... that's short for Black Cat Club."
Extra Promo... I neglected to mention some of the cool shows in June, and if you don't have serious plans, you should come out to the Black Cat out to check out Man or Astroman, a very cool band...