Rom - I have very much enjoyed this local trio under their former name, Dead Women. But with their new (and very welcome) moniker Rom, they are set for an exciting restart. And based on tonight and a new album that will be reviewed shortly, this is a band you should put on your radar. Tonight's show is a new room for me tonight, upstairs from this Adams Morgan restaurant/bar. Oddly enough, I saw a house show right next door in a residence above the bike shop so the room style is quite familiar. Rom did suffer a bit with the makeshift PA as there were some early feedback issues that did get worked out. Also, the vocals were a little thin, which is a downer as they are a key component of the songs. But even with that, the music of this band still connected with the fine skills that each of the three players exhibited. These guys can churn out great power pop songs and twist them around into various levels of intensities to keep things interesting. One song was a dead ringer in style to that of Kinski, when that brilliant Seattle band heads toward more hook-laden songs. They have got plenty of shows lined up for the summer, so I suggest you hit one of them.
Black Checker - Speaking of power pop... what better way to follow up a set by Rom, then bring out another excellent DC trio, who comfortably fits the genre. Of course, the genre may be the same, but this band has its own personality and energy and seem to be in strong form tonight. The sound was a little tricky with no feedback, but the vocals were a bit loud in some of the songs. But everything came through clear enough for a rocking time to be had by the mostly full room. The music was brisk, tight, and with loads of hooks brought on by quick guitar riffing on top of a strong rhythm section. In between their fine songs they snuck in covers of the Police and Queens of the Stone Age, which added to the fun. So it was another fine night from a band that keeps getting better with every gig.
Laughing Man - I feel bad about missing this set as I think I would like their sound as I see it described. But duty called for some other things going on in life, so I will have to catch these guys another time... hopefully soon.
Quote of the Night: From Black Checker after spotting a guy wearing a fez... "Dude, where did you get your hat? Did you get it from Turban Outfitters?"