Sunday, November 16, 2014

Empires - Cold Fronts -- DC9 - Nov 15 2014

Cold Fronts - Here's another punk/power pop hybrid outfit, this time hailing from our north in Philadelphia. They have a more desperate edge to them than most and that propels their 34 minute set forward with a vigor and a sense of abandon that makes it pass quite quickly. The edgy near romantic vocals remind me quite a bit of Richard Hell and the guitars have wild edgy moves that add to the chaos. Yet the melodies and rhythms keep it under control and it holds together well. Good fun.
Empires - Good crowd tonight for an early show at the DC9, who have been drawing good crowds at the three recent shows I have attended. This Chicago band has a good following and proved why with a tight 35 minute set that showed that indie alt rock still works. First off, they are one of the rare bands of this type with a dedicated full time lead vocalist. I have always found that odd that what is fairly normal in metal and punk, just does not happen with frequency in the indie rock scene. But it works here as the vocals are warm and smooth, but with plenty of heart and avoidance of saccharine. The music matches the warmth but with a bite in the guitar that keeps the songs rocking. Empires are a band like what U2 or even Big Country would sound like if they stayed in the clubs. There is also an Echo and the Bunnymen vibe when they kick things up a notch, particularly in the closing number. There is nothing reinvented here, this is just five guys that know how to write and play very good songs and have the energy and conviction to make it an entertaining evening.

Photograb of the Night: Here is a school teacher who in his 40 year career, wore the same outfit for class picture day for their yearbook. I am glad I did nothing like this...

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