I was fortunate enough to get to Neurolux before it got crowded. I staked out a booth with good lighting, silenced my cell phone (just to stay in practice) and watched the people pour in.
Local stoner rock band Cerberus Rex opened the night. Their name, their steady-as-a-tank tempo, their punishing riffs and their howling, shrieking solos all but begged for comparison to Dinosaur Jr. I'll take Josh Galloway's stand-and-deliver bellow over J Mascis' arrogant passivity any day of the week, however, and Cerberus Rex's dense, swirling dual guitar interplay was all their own. Galloway's stone-simple, wall-rattling basslines served as the eye of the hurricane of Pat Perkins and Z.V. House's volcanic guitars and Jake Hite's fifty-caliber drumming. I'm definitely gonna be on the lookout for this band from now on (and I'll make sure to bring my earplugs too).
After Cerberus Rex came Portland-based hard rock band Red Fang. Their droning, ominous, unstoppable riffs and primal rhythms signified as metal, but their wasn't an ounce of golden god to these guys. In spirit, their down-and-dirty lyrics, their shouted/growled vocals, their raw guitar solos and their emphasis on groove and songcraft over vulgar displays of virtuosity was much less Iron Maiden and much more Motorhead (with maybe some Melvins thrown in for good measure). As a guy who's always preferred Motorhead to Iron Maiden, I found this music entirely worthy of the raucous applause, horn-throwing and crowd-surfing that it received from the crowd. Four horns up for John Sherman's on-target, indefatigable drumming.
After Red Fang wrapped up, I staggered out of Neurolux and headed over to the Red Room with a few friends. By the time that we got there, local singer/songwriter Ben Kirby's Sun Blood Stories and Twin Falls group Bad Carb had already played. That was unfortunate, but I'm sure that I'll see and write about those two soon (very soon, in Bad Carb's case--more on that later).
We walked in just in time to catch the set by Caldwell instrumental trio Stargaze Unlimited. They've played quite a few gigs since they opened for Red Hands Black Feet back in April, and they've apparently been busy recording their first album as well. All of this hard work seems to have tightened up their groove but good. Richard Metzger's drumming sounded twice as dexterous and confident, the bright lyricism of Kurtis Beckwith's guitar lines had deepened and intensified and Travis Gamble's solemn bass held everything together even more firmly. Man, I love being proven right.
Twin Falls-based, dog-faced, one-man act Hedtriip closed out this Atypical Tuesday. His rousing, hypnotic guitar and his intricate, melodious, body-friendly programmed beats and riffs got the crowd swaying and dancing. A fine ending to the night. Look out for this guy when the Twin Falls Invasion hits the Red Room on June 30th.
You can find info about all of these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online. Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Radio Boise. Special thanks also to Keesha Renna for the use of her phone's much less crappy camera.