Jeff: The Brotherhood: This band, this pair of gangly, young, messy haired brothers, blew my freaking mind when they opened. The best way to describe it is stoner rock on crack rock, I think. Maybe just "stoner crack"? Guitarist and singer Jake kicked out some intense, hypnotic, and totally rocking riffs with only three strings and a lot of help from a Sunn cabinet and a DBA pedal (Fuzz War, I believe). He and his brother Jamin were absolutely hyper, and really tight. The songs had a lot of really interesting melodic and dynamic changes, nuts riffs, and really fun warbling, garage-rock vocals for the odd poppy chorus here and there. Jamin is an INTENSE drummer.
Jeff may have stolen the whole show, honestly. That is a band pursuing it's own, distinct and dynamic sub-genre of rock. It was two or three songs into it before I realized that the guitarist wasn't just avoiding the higher tembre strings, he'd removed them, and the tuning pegs, to make restoring them no small affair. Changing your boundaries can really change your perspective and inspire you.
Let's not count the run-on sentences when I get excited, shall we? Damn right I bought a t-shirt and a CD.
Shell Shag: always rules. They always seem to end up playing at DBA when I'm there, and the space never serves them well. I mean, aesthetically, yes, Shell Shag and DBA were made for each other. But this pair of characters (another guitar/singer and drummer combo, in a more garage rock / Ramones / sweet pop music / sonic youth circa Dirty kinda way) have vocals. Good vocals, harmonies, lyrics that you really need to hear to complete the experience. First time I saw them was at 58 Gallery in Jersey City where I could hear them, I know it's true! They put on a great show, and I think the girlfriend had the most fun watching them, too. But they need, no, they deserve, to be heard!
Really, really experienced bands know how to play to their strengths, and you could see the guitarist turning his instrument down a little more with each song so they could squeeze every last decibel of vocals out of Death By Audio's total crap PA.
Screaming Females: still got it! I've been going to their shows for a couple of years now and had both their records, so I was looking forward to hearing the new jams on POWER MOVE. Only playing one older jam that I recognized, I'm guessing all that I heard is on the new record, which I picked up last night but haven't listened to just yet. The rhythm section has really gotten a lot tighter with all the touring these characters do. The energy was high, the crowd was dancing to yet more \m/ syncopated rock riffage of the high velocity variety. If you know anything about the band, you probably know that Marissa Paternoster is one of the most shredding guitar players ever.
Their song writing is starting to expand, which I think it has to do, lest they become a one-trick, rock-out pony. I couldn't tell you a damn thing about the lyrics because of the PA, but the tunes blended together a bit despite the incredible musical dexterity. The performance was a lot of fun, but I think my favorite tune of the night was one of the slower, creepier numbers, that still had the Rock Out. Playing to your strengths sometimes means that you're a bitching guitar player, and a great singer, but not always the two at the same time. Marissa is great at ripping it, at ripping it and screaming her head off, and she's a really great singer, but I can't help but think here and there she'd be well served by just singing once in a while.
Marissa told me there's no way in Hell that Ben Franklin will be able to pull off a record in one day of tracking. A CHALLENGE! I will show you, short stuff.
In any event, this was a great show, with some really great, guitar-oriented, Super Riff bands. I don't get enough of that sort of thing.