Monday, October 6, 2014

Ex Hex - Speedy Ortiz - Teen Liver - Black Cat -- Oct 5 2014

Teen Liver - Second time around for me with this local trio and I am looking forward to it. I recognize the rhythm section as brothers from a more recognized local band. Yet, this is my band of choice as Teen Liver nails a garage punk style far better than most. It is like the vocals and songs of the Dickies with the thick murky primordial ooze of the band Crime. You can also hear that raw punk sound of the early Dicks, the Flesheaters and the Controllers, and many more bands who just knew enough about their instruments to create amazingly raw, feral rock songs with pop hooks. I will always be listening to music like this for as long as I have ears.

Speedy Ortiz - Wow, I hear about one hundred 'alternative' bands worth of sound in the songs of this twin guitar rock outfit. I could name all the suspects... Sugar, Dinosaur Jr., Minutemen, Nirvana, Sebadoh, etc., but Northampton Mass's Speedy Ortiz has their own personality and has the chops to share a festival stage with any of the bands that perfected that 'beyond punk' brand of of rock music in the late 1980s and beyond. The songs are a bit more oblique here and I am more impressed by the overall sound and skillful playing than the writing, but that may be corrected by more album listening as it may take a few spins for me. Their newer material seemed a bit more song oriented and occasionally slowed it down a bit, but there are still great guitar slashing moments that get my eyebrows up in the air. I enjoyed the 44 minute set as did the really large crowd here tonight to witness this exciting bill.
Ex Hex - This is really simple pop-punk. This trio is all female, which is nothing terribly new these days (thankfully) but I mention it since they all sing and manage to create some nice vocal variations and harmonies. There is nothing terribly flashy in their playing, but they do grab onto a groove and manage to elevate their pop songs into something a bit extra special. It is hard to see exactly why this works so well, yet it does. One thing I noted was how familiar I am with many of these songs, even though I only heard their new album one time about two or three weeks back. If that is the case, then clearly these three have a knack for writing solid pop songs that stay with you. And that will make for a great show or great album. Fun, fun, fun on this Sunday night.

Quote of the Night: And here we are with the last quote that I have pulled from Tom Hawking's article... "The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History". It was a fine list with a few that will stay with me. This is number one on his list...

1. Tupac on The Notorious BIG
 - All of “Hit ‘Em Up,” really, but particularly this: “I fucked your bitch, you fat motherfucker.”

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