Friday, May 25, 2012

Art Fad, Finn Riggins and JEFF the Brotherhood @ Neurolux (5/23/12)

"Have you seen Art Fad?"  I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that question over the past month.  More often than not, the question came from folks whose musical taste I respect.  So, when I got a chance to go see them, how could I turn it down?

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when the crowd for a live show starts out kinda thin and then builds as it gets closer to the time when the headliners take the stage.  I still am, though.  Why would people not want to see opening acts?  If you're paying good money for a show, why would you not see the whole thing?  It makes me think of back in the day when folks would just walk into a theater during the middle of a film.  Of course, I imagine that some folks have to do stuff that I should (in theory) do too (i.e. work and earn money).

Anyway, enough ranting.  On with the show!

First up on Wednesday night was Art Fad.  Now I know why everybody's so crazy about this guitar-and-drums duo from Caldwell.  With their maniacal drumming, tsunami-like guitar riffs, poppy tunes and arty noise, they sounded like a hallucination of a Ramones or Agent Orange concert.  While they played fast enough to satisfy the most ADD-addled hardcore fan, they managed to work enough of a groove into their music to render it danceable.  My only quibbles are that I could've used a lyric sheet and that I don't know how long they can keep up music this rarefied.  In the end, however, I found Art Fad's music so pleasurable and galvanizing that it overwhelmed such petty concerns.

After Art Fad came Finn Riggins, who got off to a bit of a rough start but hit their stride quickly and delivered a decent set.  Lisa Simpson's voice and guitar were in good form, Cameron Bouiss snuck in some nice little fills and Eric Gilbert's keyboards made the music go vroom.  I wonder if I'll ever get tired of hearing "Arrow" or "Benchwarmers."  Guess I'll find out.

Headliners JEFF the Brotherhood came next.  Jake and Jamin Orrall may hail from Nashville, but their fusion of the Ramones and Black Sabbath would've sounded right at home in grunge-era Seattle: catchy, sing-along melodies; droning, low-tuned, buzzsaw guitar; ironically detached singing; slyly simple lyrics; muscular drumming.  As befits good Southerners, however, their groove was much more solid and much steadier-rolling than, say, the Melvins'.  They switched from sludgy stomp to full-throttle blitzkrieg without preening or breaking a sweat, and they kept the solos short and sweet.  I'll bet that Kurt Cobain woulda loved JEFF the Brotherhood.  Joey Ramone too.  Hell, maybe even Johnny Ramone.

You can find info about all of these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I've heard Art Fads are good live, I really dug their Vatos LP (

    Thanks for the kinds words about Drug Punk!