More AM than FM -- I last saw this Maryland trio 3 1/2 years ago and they offer the same powerful punk sound, but have even a bit more skill and confidence now. Instead of radio bands, I think 'More Agrro-Music than Finesse Music' is appropriate here. The throaty guitar licks on top of a strong rhythm section lays the table with classic punk rock meets blues rock sounds. The guitarist's voice can stay with it all with a ferocious edge that keeps everyone on their toes. The tunecraft is decent and again, it is the confidence to push the music to the edge that has these ladies at the top of their game. What is not to like about a band like this?
Wild Love - This local outfit has an Irish singer, noticeable more in the stage patter than his lead vocals or the musical style. They also feature a big strong sound, but unlike the first band, there is more a move to shoegaze, post-Radiohead rock, and older big rock sounds. I find it works best for me when they cut loose a little bit and inject some fun into their songs. The more introspective ones drift away from me some. But there is enough spirit and energy to make for a decent set. They cut a fine presence in the scene and should work well on many a bill around town.
The Split Seconds - This local twin guitar quartet is celebrating their album release with this show tonight. There is a sizable crowd here to join in on the fun, and the band delivers them everything they expected and then some. They describe themselves as classic pop punk band, which is exactly as they were for me. I kept trying to find the band that they have grown out of and came up with Generation X, which I see they indeed list as an influence. That seemed closest as the vocals had that melodic energy of early Gen X songs. But they add some bombs away abandon from even heavier later day punk bands, while never losing sight of good melodies. They even add some classic moves like instrumental surf songs and reggae-meets-punk rock combination cuts. And they are yet another band to cover 'Kick Out the Jams' with a guest vocalist even. Although I have seen the MC5 play this, I never get tired of the many cover versions that come my way. Although there were some heavy hitter national bands to consider tonight, I am glad I went with the locals as they had the energy and sense of fun that makes for a great summer night.
Cartoon grab of the Night: