Paperhaus - It was high time I caught up with one of my favorite local bands after their massive and successful North American tour a few months back. They started with some songs from their recent EP, which although was far poppier than their more psyche-indie older songs, still retained the inventive guitar interplay that these guys are famous for. The newer material that followed (some I have heard in months past) was even more eclectic as these guys comfortably move around numerous genres, focusing on strong rhythms and those tricky guitar moves. Vocals are solid, but the musicianship and perhaps the added comfort that comes after soooo many gigs are making these guys better than ever. I believe they are living up to their krautrock inspired name by doing what the best krautrock bands did--play inventive rock music that doesn't fit a genre and combines a mix of hooks and improv which stakes out its own territory. This is a newer more conscious brand of that, which should have indie rock fans coming on board and digging into some great music while exploring far broader terrain, whether they are aware of it or not.
Eternal Summers - This was my first experience with this Roanake trio and it was a good one. They start out with songs that sounded like dream pop LPs that you would mistakenly play at 45rpm on your turntable (reminding me of my infamous moment of playing Wire's 154 at the wrong speed and not figuring out until the second song, although the vocal did strike me as a bit odd, but it was Wire). Basically, the rhythm section just churned out crisp powerful beats to allow the guitarist to add her strong hooks through the riffs and vocals. Early on, I heard a bit of that classic Pacific Northwest style pop-rock such as something between the Posies and the Wipers. It was bright and the vocals were cute. Interestingly, they went into some newer songs which were significantly darker. It wasn't exactly Joy Division, but the vocals were chillier, although the music still had plenty of pace and hooked you in. I liked both styles, but I think reversing the set list may have made for a more dramatic presentation. That is a minor criticism as this is one excellent band that I hope to see again some time.
Love Language - This was also my first time seeing this fine Chapel Hill band, making feel guilty that again I am coming on board this crowded train a little too late. But as long as you make it on board, it all works out for the best as this was a highly pleasurable journey. Start with a dreamy singer/guitarist who leads a full band with lead guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums into a slick presentation of fully engaging music. They marry shoegaze sounds with jangly guitar and play it all with passion where the rhythm section pushes everyone to stay with them. It is kind of a post-paisley Dandy Warhols kind of sound, but they move to their own beat. I really enjoy the mix to where you can hear subtle keyboard and guitar moves underneath the main melody while the vocals strongly stay on top of the sound. The crowd had slowly built up to a more than half filled club and they thoroughly enjoyed this band tonight, as well they should. Love Language capped off a strong bill of three modern rocks band that all manage to sound fresh in their own distinct style, while pulling great elements of past bands and scenes into their songs. It is why Saturday night in a rock club is still the best place to be.
Quote of the Night: Courtesy of Football365. com as they uncovered this gem from English footballer, Michael Dawson... "All you can do is concentrate individually as a team."