Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sleeper Agent! / Cloak/Dagger / Domino Team / Solar Powered Sun Destroyer - Black Cat - Dec 18 2009

Solar Powered Sun Destroyer - Anglo-tinged indie rock with strong psychedelic touches and maybe an ounce of shoegaze. Three guitars blasting away at times with sound effects and a fog machine. Decent vocals, strong sound. They just did not quite get me to break out into overall excitement, but I just relaxed and remembered what you usually get from the fourth band on the bill. So a really good set and good things could be in store for this band.

Domino Team - Two guitars, bass, drums and two vocals with a multi-ethnic lineup. I anticipated the cliche and expected hip-hop metal, but instead got short, brutal thrash-metal bursts. Not as odd as Napalm Death, I suppose, but strong intense little bursts of power more like the NYC metal hardcover crossover bands. Amusing at times between songs, although one vocalist would not let anyone finish their sentence and you could only understand half of what was said, which was not altogether bad. The other vocalist is a bartender/manager at the Club and although that helps in booking, they delivered a solid opening band set.  Just work on the patter as you should have guessed when someone yelled for the third time, "shut up and play"!

Cloak/Dagger - A four piece from Richmond with one guitarist. Wow. The band is very smart by only having one guitar here. The guy is amazing as he can grind out rhythms and do fills, overtones and full leads and somehow keep the rhythm sound going. One of the best I have seen in this style, for certain. Rhythm section fast and good and the vocalist was strong and clear. The music reminded me of when punk split into hardcore and other (later called postpunk). The sound is from that era but they actually combined both styles into hard, fast punk rock with odd and angular moves within. Maybe a combination of Rudimentary Peni and the Proletariat? How about Honor Role and Ruin? How about I stop showing off all the obscure bands I know and just say this band is excellent, a hot and heavy creative in-your-face rock band that really struck a chord with me. Rather, they were striking the chord eight times a second with me.

Sleeper Agent! - My second time with this band and was surprised to see them headlining upstairs. Stabb quickly expresses his surprise at that as well (see below). Stabb had his usual wit which I enjoy as another old timer. When you're this old, it is wisdom I think (as I picture him wincing at that line--he has a good wince). As before, I think the guitarist is quite creative doing lots of unique things in the basic sound that is in the neighborhood of Government Issue, but not really. Probably some of the quirky moves in the songwriting feel like GI, but this band stands by itself just fine. Stabb was one of the excellent DC vocalists who all had one odd thing in common, they really didn't sing particularly well. What they had was style, presence and great delivery. I will except Peter Stahl from Scream from that description, but we'll see how he sounds this Sunday. Anyway, enough reminiscing. Much mention of the snowstorm that was just beginning to come down which clearly scared some people away. For the brave souls that came, they were treated to some great area music.

Quote of the Night: "Thanks to Cloak/Dagger, the band you people all really came to see"

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