Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gang of Youths - StereoRiots -- DC9 - Jun 10 2016

StereoRiots - OK, first off, I don't need to be asked to make some noise or show some excitement twice before I have heard a note. Nor do I need two band members ask me how I am doing before I have heard a note. Finally when the music actually starts, things are better. Although not a dazzling display, the rhythm section is solid, the guitar occasionally interesting, and the keyboards offer a rich thickening agent in the sound. The vocals are a bit passive and lost in the mix, but it is a decent enough rock sound. This is a likable enough set, although I think more character needs to be developed in the songs and overall presentation. The potential is there.
photo: Jordan Munns (Knitting Factory show)

Gang of Youths - This Australian quintet has quite a personal history with members backgrounds and citizenship including America, Fiji, Samoa, and New Zealand. No matter what their cultural influences say about themselves, they all clearly bond and lock in to rock music. They start with a quiet vocal/guitar rustic song that morphs into a full fledged monster when the band kicks in. Whoa, step out of the way as these guys are tearing it up. They feature one to three guitars, keyboards and a powerhouse rhythm section that doesn't just lay down a foundation, but tears off at full speed and demands everyone keep up. They do, as these guys play some of the most blistering music I have heard since Lee Bains or even Radio Birdman. The stage patter came later, well after the crowd made a lot of noise and moved forward. But this was not all power and speed, the songs were really good, sounding like something you may have heard before, but with loads of twists--the break in the third song was a cacophonous moment of brilliance. The singer came out and interacted with the receptive crowd, including me even, and this proved again that an early show can be every bit as brilliant as the late-night shows. I was a bit jealous that a friend of mine in Tasmania got to see Radio Birdman recently, but not now, as the continent was kind enough to grant us this treat. Hopefully this band will return and with the word of mouth that will spread after performances like this, there should be quite the crowd next time around.

Quote of the Night: Gang of Youth's singer explaining how he was enjoying DC and many of the cities he was visiting in the USA except...

"Nashville - what a bunch of sanctimonious assholes.... That shithole was my place of residence for one year."

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