Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Albino Rhino - Automagik - Ménage À Garage -- Velvet Lounge - May 24 2016

Ménage À Garage - This local trois-piece band backs up its clever name with some fine ripping music that sounds straight from the garage. Although the 'garage' has changed over the decades, this group seems to favor the 70s-80s garage punk sound with a trace of power pop in the mix. The songs are good and occasionally show some real flair. They also develop a deep growl in their sound, which is quite effective for the material. Although tight, the one flaw I see or felt was that the music did not quite congeal as much as I would have liked. But that is common when it is early days for a band. It rarely happens immediately and the core sounds and songs are a great basis for this trio to continue to grow and be a fun rock band to have about town.

Automagik - From one of my old stomping grounds (Cincinnati) comes this trio that should be a quartet were it not for an injury to their lead guitarist. Fortunately their lead vocalist's guitar work is good and shows enough flair to keep a set going. The opening song confused me a bit, but then their songs found a groove that brought out an older sort of glam rock infused with occasional funky blasts. I will still have to grade this incomplete rather than try to pick apart weaker moments, but if their guitarist is named Johnny Thunders, Jr., this could be an act worth checking out again for a full review.
Albino Rhino - We finish with a four-piece that adds keyboards to the classic rock trio and a couple of the guys trade the vocal parts. But these guys bring the funk in that Isaac Hayes manner. The wah-wah was so prominent in their brisk opener, I thought I would be dreaming of it all night (turns out I slept better than usual). Wild Cherry came to mind as well as this took me back to my younger days when this was more prevalent. They had some twists in different songs and almost went progressive--further adventures there could be fun. But this is the kind of music I would want to see people dance to, well played and energetic and not that monotonous beat. It is hard to believe I miss this style as much as I do, since I certainly did not in 1975, but these guys work the style proudly and effectively.

Quote of the Night - Overheard behind me after a cut from the opener.. "I love that song--it takes me back to 2000"  ...or for me, it takes me back to my glory middle age days, that I wax nostalgically for, so often.

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