Monday, September 28, 2015

Mike Krol - Title Tracks - ROM -- Comet Ping Pong - Sep 26 2015

by John Miller

ROM - DC mainstays, ROM opened tonight with a quick set, only about twenty minutes. I hadn’t realized it at the time but I do have some history with the band as I believe I have played live with them at some point though I could be mistaken; those small shows tend to run together. Though I do know, as Dead Women, they played a very, very small house show a couple of years back and could not have been nicer considering how many people showed up.

“And are down to play gigs in the trenches and not bitch about anyone or anything = rock n roll attitude” – Brandon Ables

ROM plays everywhere and they still bring a crowd. It’s nice to see local folks supporting local bands; god knows I never got that kind of support when I was playing. But enough self effacing, ROM plays quick, good songs that kind of sound like a louder Sunny Day Real Estate. They also have a drummer with glasses; I’m four for four with tall, skinny drummers with glasses at Comet Ping Pong.

Title Tracks - And it is yet another band that played the mid-slot and continued the theme; tall, skinny drummer with glasses. These Washington DC natives are more straight ahead rock than ROM with power pop leanings. Unfortunately I do not have any history with these guys so no worthless stories or quotes, nevertheless these guys reminded me of later day Weezer, breezy, melodic songs. Like ROM before them, Title Tracks had a local contingent tonight. Lots of hugs and an abundance of older folks that kind of look out of place; nothing wrong with a little parental support.

Mike Krol - Mike Krol ended the festivities tonight (unfortunately the drummer did not wear glasses) and before they even began, I could tell this was going to be quite different than the previous two acts. I was super uncomfortable with the noise being unleashed by the PA. I’m not necessarily an earplug guy but I seriously considered taking advantage of the dollar option before the show started.

Smoke machine? Check. Flashing, colored lights? Check. Beginning the show in complete darkness? Check. There is vision here. These guys are about to put on a show, they take their theatrics seriously. And as the lights come on, five men, dressed as strippers, dressed as cops take the spotlight. Obviously with a set up like this, there was lots of energy. There are easy comparisons; Alice Cooper, et al though at various points tonight, I was reminded of The Blood Brothers. Now nothing can really, truly compare to The Blood Brothers, but occasionally the rhythmic motions of the songs came close.

“I forgot to put up the barbed wire.”

This is party music. This is beer drinking with a general air of lingering crustiness. The crowd, even though it has thinned out since the previous two acts, seems to really enjoy what they are experiencing. There is so much confusion, almost Kaufmanesque. I always enjoy it when the band performing has to instruct the crowd when to clap.  I imagine with a more familiar audience, Mike Krol’s shows would be insane, but he can only do so much with this DC crowd tonight.

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