Mozes & the Firstborn - I recognized this band as someone I have enjoyed before and a few songs in, I was reminded why in a big way. They bring a popsike style with a heavier psychedelic rock approach like combining the 3 O'Clock with Black Mountain. This band from two of the countries comprising Benelux are touring hard and have a great record along with a great live set. It was nice to see a good crowd for them at tonight's early start. All it takes is one careful listen and this band should be on your watch list. They have all the components and really kick it into high gear, which is what you want in psyche rock music (and look into Netherlands history for a great foundation to work off of).
Ex Cops - And from North Carolina and North Denmark, comes this intriguing little trio that uses drums, guitar, and female vocals to stir up their brand of pop rock music. The guitarist adds some harmonies and there are some undercurrent sounds, but the steady drums lay out the landscape for some careful edgy guitar sounds and powerful vocals. At their best, they achieve a grandeur sound with soaring vocals that sound as if they were cathedral born and echoing throughout a valley. They pull it back for a few songs, but the powerhouse cuts are the ones that will stay with me for a long time.
together PANGEA - Second time around for me for this LA twin guitar quartet. They brought their srong west coast jangly punk garage sound to the Black Cat once before and have it working every bit as well tonight. They vary their songs quite a bit with different tempos or a slant to pop or rock, punk cuts either 60s style or 70s style, etc. The crowd had grown quite a bit by now and they were fully into this set as this is a band that knows how to blast away from a stage.
Cherry Glazerr - This LA trio brings the rawest simplest approach tonight with a jagged edge pop punk style that takes me back to the early days of punk with bands starting from nothing. But just as those bands started from scratch with more vision than ability, the ability came with a fresh approach and created some memorable music. Cherry Glazerr does the same as each song built into a very fine set of music with just enough variety among a mostly hypnotic beat and grinding Rickenbackers. Feral sounds mix with more under control moments as everything pulls you into their murky powerful environment. Very interesting music and yet another interesting vision on this showcase event.
Dum Dum Girls - This established quartet is augmented with another guitarist so that lead singer Dee Dee can focus more on vocals. But she straps on a guitar as well for a rare three-guitar sound. Her vocals smooth out the intricate post punk guitar style that gives this band its own edge in what by now is a fairly established environment. The rhythm section is sharp and adds to the mysterious overall approach that cooly embraces this Black Cat crowd. The harmonies are excellent and at times are four-women all at once almost composing an alto section of the choir. The music is as deep as the voices as there is a lot going on to drift away with. Very alluring music here and a great ending a night of five unique bands that have a lot to offer.
Quote of the Night: from the soundman after the fourth band concluded... "Long night."
Yes, but thankfully to the Black Cat and all of the bands, it went smoothly and even I who get so very tired after a couple of bands was going strong all night. The Black Cat started it early and every band got to play a full set without the show running long. There are still a lot of screwups in this regard from other clubs, but most of the shows in DC from small to large do a pretty good job here and I thank them for that (especially when I remember some disasters for me and my friends in other cities).