Thursday, December 12, 2013

Muscle Worship - Mittenfields - Static Scene -- Velvet Lounge - Dec 11 2013

Static Scene - I was reading someone's polite FB rant about tiring of all those lists with some commenters agreeing and others dissenting saying lists are a good way of learning about whatever the subject may be. I am fine with lists as they are snapshots in time which can change immediately after they are posted. Still, there are some lists I am glad I do not keep such as my favorite 100 DC area bands. Not only would it be a nightmare to maintain, but it would create the problem of where to place an excellent newcomer like Static Scene. Clearly, they would enter the charts with a bullet and displace some veteran bands, but they need some room to grow. They are fairly new to the scene, yet only show a raw inexperience with stage patter and presentation. Musically, they have nailed down a great style with substantial songs that are easy to get into. They have a solid drummer and just two guitarists that play in a thick and heavy manner due to excellent tone choices. One guitar is fuzzy and jangly while the other has piercing tones and slide moves. I do hear some bass notes in the mix at times and am not sure how that is happening, but clearly these guys know their sound and even more importantly, something about songcraft. The vocals are on the edgy side in a Bob Pfeiffer (Human Switchboard) or Richard Hell manner (he's on my brain as I just finished his autobiography). This band should appeal to heavier indie rock fans, shoegazers, and anyone who appreciates loud quality music.
Muscle Worship - This Lawrence Kansas band thanked Mittenfields for letting them play the middle slot as they learned from their New York show, that if things run late and four local bands play first, their tired friends tend to head for the hills and the band is left with an expensive rehearsal. They are a power trio in the manner of Mission of Burma and have a highly similar noisy approach to pop, very ragged, very jagged. I also hear some of the noisy guitar moves Honor Role did live. When it did not work, they were a bit more like Crazy Horse trying to ape these bands. But for about half the time it worked extremely well as they had catchy songs with all kinds of crazy moves from guitar and bass atop the thunderous drumming. I liked the bass chords as well, although the guitarist was playing at the edge of feedback all set, and stepped over the line a few times too many. Still, a really fun set by a very interesting band. I would be happy to hear more any time.

Mittenfields - This local band always puts on a good show. With three talented guitarists and good songs, there is always something to key on. Tonight, I felt their pop rock moves from their songwriting shine through beyond the shoegaze din that they have built up in the past. Nothing wrong with a good freakout and there still is some of that, but there was even more intricacy with the guitar work on top of the solid rhythm section. This is high quality music that has great appeal for a wide audience, and this band and the others drew a nice crowd on a cold Wednesday night, so it is great to see them still going strong.

Quote of the Night... from Muscle Worship chuckling at the fans shouting for Brian for some reason... "If you put three relatively sharp guys together, they would make one big stupid guy... named Brian"

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