The Control - All four guys in this twin-guitar rock quartet have microphones, although the guitarist takes the lead slot singing along with some tough rock'n'roll, Detroit style. Perhaps it is more Annapolis style, but I detect the heavy classic Detroit rock sounds where it's just a bit loose while retaining strength at the core (although a bit more like the Up rather than the MC5). The skills are there more than the songs, although a couple of them really took off, particularly the closer (even if the ending was a bit too Spinal Tap). Both guitarists worked well with different lead styles which makes for engaged listening and a lot of potential. It may not all be there yet (tighten those endings, lads), but there is plenty to enjoy right now and it appeared the smallish holiday weekend crowd did just that. I did.
Fall Seattle - 'Oh no, these guys!' I thought I recognized the band name and as soon as I heard them talking to the soundman as they were setting up, I recognized them as the really nice area band that drove me crazy at the DC9 with their inane banter. Fortunately I braced myself for it and it was not as bad this time, but they really need to tone down the personality and get down to business, because they are a good band. They have a strong shoegaze pop sound where they embrace the thicker dreamy and intense sounds, but have good pop hooks and melodies in rather short snappy songs. All the more reason the goofball attempts at humor or whatever they are trying to do just doesn't fit with the quality of the music. Maybe I'll slip a few bucks to the soundman to turn off the drummer's mic between songs next time. It will be for their own good. Do see this band however, as they have the music and ability to deliver a strong set, which they mostly did tonight.
Club Scout - I was quite sorry to miss this local band's album release show late last year since I really thought their album was one of the better slabs of heavy power pop that I had heard in a while. So I was hopeful that tonight would prove that they can do it on stage as well as on recordings. It took just a few bars into the first song where I was satisfied that this was going to be a fun set. Club Scout's brand of power pop is heavy with creative lead guitar fills and plenty of punk pace and attitude when needed. The drums are extremely powerful and coupled with a tough bass, it is a heavy foundation for the two guitarists to stay with. Thankfully they do with assertive rhythm playing and clever lead work. Somehow the lead vocals stay on top of this intensity and retain enough clarity to not lose the pop hooks. They slow it down a few times, which made for a nice break before launching back into maelstrom with plenty of pace and volume. They lifted the crowd and had four dozen people sounding like twice that. Hope these guys continue to play around here, as they would enliven a lot of evenings.
Quote of the Night: Actually, from a collection of quotes from an article by Tom Hawking, listing the 30 Harshest Musician on Musician Insults....
30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire
“I get really tired of their pompousness [sic]… We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it… They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em.”