A Trustworthy Mandate
Tonight was no exception. The two bands at the Circle A this evening, besides having a "Darrell The Brains" seal of approval (though he knew very little about the opener), already have members of the Riveters in them, so that alone justifies their existence. But while I was prepared for them to be "solo" acts for the girls, I was surprised to see that the girls were simply damn good session players in the bands, not the stars. They're obviously in these bands because they can play, not because they're window dressing.
Take openers, My Underwear. Two songs in, and you realize this is Tom's band, and that the drummer from the Riveters is just that, the drummer in the band. She's good, but you have to admit, the star of this band is the wiseacre, S&M encrusted Tom, with Barbie perched on his mikestand ready to recieve all the pleasure he can dish out. And as for us in the audience, he did satisfy our musical needs. Musically, the poster of the Ramones in the Circle A hangs over them, but there's enough twists and turns that they're not a carbon copy.
I thought they were new; apparently they've been on hiatus for a few years, and they're back. I talked to Tom afterwards, and he explained that he wrote some new songs, and that's what's keeeping them fresh. And maybe that's the secret: because they did sound fresh and new, and if you read this blog with any regularity, I'm going to slap one of my highest compliments on them: they were Young, Loud and Snotty.
Mike Mandate is a commanding presence of his own, and he's ferocious with his Danelectro. They're a step up from the punk they so obviously draw their inspiration from: they've got elements of glam, and garagey blues, even a touch of funk now and then, but enought intensive piss and vinegar to keep them from going outright pop. But catchy as all hell stuff. Wish i could have heard the lyrics; I get the sense that that's where these songs really shine. But you're just not going to get good sound in a club like the Circle A. You come in, you plug in, you hope the PA's working, because nobody but you can adjust it, and you play. I want to see both these bands in a bar where there's a real sound man so I can hear what they're saying. I've learned -- as I've learned to trust "Da Brains" -- that its always worth it to hear the words behind the punks.