Expert Alterations - This Baltimore trio has a jangly take on post modern British psyche rock music. It is a simple and effective approach with a strong steady sound. Vocals are a bit too downer for me and perhaps that is why I am not fully feeling this music as well as I thought I would. I normally like this style a lot and these guys are close to pulling it off. Although not quite there yet, it certainly works well enough to open this fine billing tonight and the crowd did enjoy the set.
Ultimate Painting - This UK band has a strong western US influence. They have a couple of guitarists who both vocalize playing on top of a steady rhythm section, who can mix it some oddball moves. The guitar work is as quirky as the songwriting as these odd pop nuggets somehow merge well into loose psychedelic jams. This is a 180 degree reversal from the first band where I would not expect this style to work, but it somehow does. It is a full house by now and the crowd has caught the groove and was engaged for this 41 minute set. This was fun and quite original and I have had a full night already. But why stop with two bands?
Twerps - All the way from Melbourne comes this hard touring quartet. This is the first I have caught it with them and it was high time as they also have a fairly original take on pop rock music. The trick that works for them is that they balance both the quirky and the mannered within the same song somehow. The formula is not all that obvious other than they clearly understand song structures and are daring enough to move in original directions. They mix up the tempos well and alternate male/female lead vocals with some harmonies also changes things around to keep things fresh. A few songs stayed in a more expected range, but most soared into interesting terrain that was a pleasure to explore. Fun times and I am happy they are adding so many frequent flyer miles, as their music should work just about anywhere they play.
Quote of the Night: From the Twerps... "Wow, this is crazy. We played DC two years ago to six people. So thanks for coming out, on a Sunday, yet."