Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ShowPony - Caustic Casanova - Wet Socks - Curse Words -- Velvet Lounge - Jan 20 2015

Curse Words - This quartet does the modern punk thing like so many bands that blur together for me. It could have been awfully cliche, but fortunately this band had a couple of strong points. They had two lead vocalists on the guitars who alternated, traded lines, or harmonized to create enough variety in the early songs. The band played quite well although it did get a little too 'same old' with pace and punch as the set wore on. Still, a decent enough band for this style of music and a good way to start off the night.

Wet Socks - Speaking of cliche, I was worried that this would be yet another one of those guitar and drum blues rock duos that may be good, but that we have too much of these days. Fortunately, this Savannah band had the chops to blow the roof off and did it with a familiar yet original style. They reminded me of a couple of the Cramps covering Hawkwind's Space Ritual. It was psychedelic, assertive and so thick sounding, that you certainly did not need other instruments. In addition to both members singing, the real thickening agent was the way the guitarist worked in bass lines into the songs. Francis from Caustic Casanova briefly told me he was sending two channels to different amps and was masterfully working pedals. However it was done technically, it was a great result that created some really fun music that they were able to form into distinct songs, drones, and riffs. Loud and proud.
Caustic Casanova - It has been a while since I have last seen one of my all-time favorites in the DC area, which is ok by me as it has allowed a lot of good things to happen for them. They are signed to Retro Futurist Records and will have a second album out soon. They have done well on some lengthy touring and have gotten all the tighter as a result with plenty of new songs for me as well. And they laid it on thick, fast, and with a more demonic edge tonight. They still have a great psychedelic eound in their metallic approach, but add a lot of distinct personal elements. They even had a guest vocalist (George Burton, I believe) who chipped in by writing some words to a strange instrumental cut that reminded me again of MX-80 Sound (I rarely get to say that, so I keep bringing it up whenever possible). The newer songs are more for fans of Boris, Kylesa and Tool, and many more. I liked how they had a lot more double vocals now with the female voice of the drummer added to the male bassist voice. Although they struggle to get above the pummeling sound, they end up succeeding for me and the decent Tuesday night crowd here. They are hitting on all cylinders now, catch them while you can.

ShowPony - This instrumental trio plays post rock it would be fair to say, although I cringe every time I type that genre label. I actually like post rock music, but it throws off strange connotations that usually do not apply to the bands. These guys rock, they just have more of a assertive progressive approach to it, like stripped down hard prog rock bands. This is angular music that will interest a lot of rock fans who want a bit of variety--especially on a night like this with four heavy bands that were each quite unique, yet contributed to a great night of music.

Quote of the Night: First band before the second song... "Oh boy, I forgot my capo" (but disaster averted as he did a great job anyway).

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