Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Mantles - Title Tracks - Sick Sick Birds - Juan Wauters -- Comet Ping Pong - Jul 5 2013

Juan Wauters - This had me thinking of Flamencos Rosados, and there was a small connection with the kitschy living room stage design for this Uruguayan guitarist singer. He is a member of a NYC band, the Beets, and is accompanied by a woman on light percussion and vocals. They do a twisted folk, that stays well in control along the lines of Bolan and Took in Tyrannosaurus Rex (not T.Rex). The songs are not quite that audacious, but they are lively and veer well into the outsider camp. I like how they cycle all the songs together with no breaks similar to what Bread, Love & Dreams does in Amaryllis. Although here, it sounds more like Sebadoh trying to cover that. The thought-out set with odd flashing white lights added just enough of a setting to add to the enchantment created with guitar and voice. It is not for everybody, but I like this style when they know how to do it well, as they accomplished here tonight.

Sick Sick Birds - This Baltimore trio has a gutsy, energetic pop punk style that slashes away at the pop hooks harder than most. They remind me a bid of hard edged pop punk outfits the Undead (post-Misfits Bobby Steele band) and Denver's Happy World. There is also a Dangerhouse feeling, as this band sounds like they would be welcomed on that early LA punk record label. I was not sure how this was going to work as it has always been a style that is rather tricky for me to grab hold of. But by the third song, I was enjoying the approach this band had as they had just enough edge and striking ability to liven the music up enough to sink in.

Title Tracks - I have seen this local trio before and I knew I liked them well enough, but if I had any doubts, I can now say that they have fully won me over tonight. The clean bright catchy vocals stay atop a fuzzy, tight power pop punk style that is a nice marriage of Sloan and the Buzzcocks. And these songs are almost as catchy as the Buzzcocks, yet it is that fuzzy roar underneath it all that makes these guys the real deal and not just another good band. They are not only welcome on any area stage, but worth going out of your way for.
The Mantles - This SF Bay area quintet immediately sounds like they would be a great fit for that certain Paisley-psychedelic scene some thirty years back in the big city to their south. Their guitars jangle throughout the pleasant psychedelic pop with warm, nasal vocals that that are consistnatly comforting. I particularly appreciated the drumming as there was power when needed, but good sharp accenting was used more to really keep the bounce in these songs. This is very engaging music and even though the usual lateness of the evening in this club left a slightly smaller crowd than what the previous bands had, those present were swaying and dancing with smiles all around. I was slightly surprised that they didn't use more harmonies, as that seemed so natural, but they accomplished a warm, yet rocking set that was true 'feel-good' music.

Quote of the Night: From the Mantles... "Thanks to... (the usual bands, etc.), but I won't thank this weather as we are not used to this."

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