Black Checker - This trio gets tighter, faster, crazier, each time out. It's like the Buzzcocks have entered the Age of Steroids. Fortunately, these guys are nice so there will be no roid rage, just fun blistering power pop done with their special style making them one of the best in town in this genre. I write about them a lot, I like them, you should too and I'll stop right there.
Turtle Recall - This local outfit apparently has adopted the band naming philosophy of the Be Sharps. They start off strong with a couple of guitars, bass, drums, and alternating male and female lead vocals. The secret weapon is a violin which is always a nice add for a rock band. And these guys rocked. They sounded Americana at first, but very heavy, Then, it was more standard rock, then more urban, then it just went on a little too long and after 46 minutes the soundman apparently told them that we had another band to get to. They are young and there are some fine ingredients here, so here's hoping they sharpen their identity and continue to grow.
Bencoolen - I have enjoyed this local band's music, but this is the first time I have caught them on stage, and they are at their best here, at least tonight. They have a great sound with a couple guitars, rhythm section, and a vocalist that duels with a saxophone above it all. The vocals are strong and clear and of fine quality. The band can really cook and has some sharp songwriting skills and thoughtful rhythm shifts within songs and in the variety of songs in their set. I had to split early so I could write this review and get to sleep for my long trip tomorrow, but I saw enough to be quite impressed. The crowd was digging it too, and they were pretty great all night for all the bands. This was a fine local showcase.
Look-alike of the night - I haven't had a doppelganger moment in a while but the female singer of Turtle Recall looked an awful like Celia Humphris of Trees. I mostly want to make this point, as I think this is the first time I have been able to reference this legendary band from 1970. And that's because no one has sounded like them in all the years I have been going to shows and reviewing records (we are talking thousands just since I started this blog).