Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lightning Bolt - Hume - Les Rhinoceros -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Aug 21 2012

Les Rhinoceros - I was quite impressed with this quartet when I last saw them at Paperhaus. They have toured around a bit and played DC at least once since and the only thing I can really add is that they are even better. Their fiery aggressive prog sounds morph into twisted reggae as they seem to be the missing krautrock link between the Sun City Girls and Frank Zappa. Wharped accessibility with loads of dynamics and shifts lead by a powerful drummer and really fast precise players surrounding him. There's a bit of violin, no vocals, and lots of originality. These guys are clearly on to something.

Hume - I have seen this local quartet a number of times and have always been impressed by the intelligent and creative sounds they manage. They have a bass/vocalist with guitar and two drummers along with various noises coming from somewhere electronic. They have always had that certain post rock vibe going, but seemed even wilder and more assertive tonight. Perhaps playing between Les Rhino and Lightning Bolt had them thinking they should step it up a notch or maybe this is what they feel like doing in 2012. Whatever the reason, they delivered a strong set that had all the intelligence and intrigue that they usually produce. There is a solid crowd stretching to the back of the club by now and they have been having fun so far.

Lightning Bolt - I have not seen this Providence bass-drums/vocals duo in a number of years. They were at a Terrastock festival in their home town and did one of their 'on-the-floor' quick intense jams in between sets by the Japanese band Ghost and the late Jack Rose. They were about the 37th band of the 38 bands I saw a the festival and I was a bit too worn out to get into their noise, especially with the interesting sounds around them. But tonight was a solid bill and they went up on stage with their amp stacks and drum kit with both myself and a sizable crowd ready. The drummer employs twisted distorted vocals to work as an additional instrument primarily and plays hyper fast, but varied. The bass player uses all kinds of pedals and distortion and has used banjo strings and a fifth string to get more guitar tones out of his bass. It is quite effective as he can pummel a bass line while adding psychedelic guitar chords and runs to their music. They control the noise in a reasonable structure that is somewhere between a song and a jam. I could almost use a slower Melvins-like dirge once in a while to break things up, but there were enough sonic shifts to really hold my interest. But it is the hyper adrenaline rush that works for me, as well as the masses up front. And the sound is quite interesting, loud, but aside from a couple of early moments of overkill, just right for those of us that like volume without wanting to be completely destroyed. They reminded me of a great low-fi punk band called the Mentally Ill, although you would have to take that sound and run it through about every effects pedal known to man to get what came out tonight. Good fun and these guys are back in Baltimore on September 19th if you missed them this time around.

Video of the Night: I really enjoyed this Caustic Casanova video and since it is a good fit with the bands tonight (as well as seeing two of their members at the show), here it is for your enjoyment.

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