Kingsnake - This Philadelphia quarter features a couple of guitars with one of them handling all vocals. This is pure gritty blues rock delivered hard and true. It is where Point Blank meets Foghat but pushed much more into today's hard rock world. These guys are not tough as leather, but tough as nails. I mean you wouldn't want Judas Priest fixing your roof now. Whereas these guys may be able to build your whole house. The architecture will not be fancy, but that foundation will be strong and it will last. Oh yes, this rocks.
Weed is Weed - More hard rocking fun on hand from Maryland, as this band goes with a full time vocalist on top of three, count 'em, three guitarists. The crowd has been here early rocking hard with both of these bands, which is refreshing to see in lieu of trendy latecomers or people that stay only for their friends' band. The crowd wants to rock and this second band delivered as well. There is a bit more touch in the rhythm section here, particularly in the varied drum beats. That helped quite a bit as there was not quite as much as I expected from three guitars (but I've seen much worse). Some of the more Sabbathy riffs resonated best, as this proved a fine band to add to this powerhouse bill.
Lo-Pan - As I mentioned in March 2012 where I saw these guys at the Velvet Lounge, where the hell were bands like this when I lived in Columbus? If anyone can put that over-sized cowtown on the musical map, it might be Lo-Pan as they sound even more amazing than last time. Just one guitar, bass, drums, and vocals is all they need to cook up a maelstrom of metallic hard rock. This is the most fluid band of the night thus far and it appears that years of playing and roadwork have paid big time dividends. On a minor note, I thought their look was cool with the singer standing on the drum riser behind the drummer, which I have only seen from one other band in all my years of doing this. They really are as good as the big club metal and hard rock bands and hopefully even more riff loving, volume seeking crazed music fans will find these guys. 27 minutes of sheer bliss tonight.
Borracho - Although Lo-Pan is a tough act to follow, I had every bit of confidence that this area trio would be up to the challenge. And they were. Their style combines all of the proceeding hard rock to metal, old school to new school, with the requisite power and precision to elevate the songs beyond the garage. They were muscular throughout yet often could lock into a deep groove. I heard the Blue Cheer on steroids influence again particularly in the long solo passages. The crowd was less worried with comparisons and dug right in with plenty of energy despite the long night of adrenaline filled volume blasts. This was about as well executed as a night you would want with everything connecting on all levels. Borracho's brand new record is out now and well worth going out of your way for. And they are on the road, so that the minions of rock nuts can uncover this band's power. Hopefully, the smart and enthusiastic hard rock/metal crowd around here will continue supporting these shows like they did tonight. If so, the clubs will likely keep churning them out.
Quote of the Night: Lyrics from the opening number from Weed is Weed, just in case you couldn't figure out their philosophy.... "Weed is Weed, Plant the Seed, Oh yes Indeed."