I'd heard very good things about Maps & Atlases, who were playing this same night at the Neurolux, but I opted to check out this show instead. For one thing, it had a $3 cover as opposed to Neurolux's $10 cover. For another, it gave me a chance to check out Range Life again. For yet another, I'd heard good things about Desert Noises as well from a couple of folks. Finally, it gave me a chance to write about the Flying M out in Nampa again.
A solid crowd had built up by the time that the show began. At the door to the concert space, the Flying M had thoughtfully provided a couple trays of earplugs. I brought my own with me, and they certainly came in handy.
Starting off the evening was Range Life, who played without their female singer. While I did kinda miss her chirpy vocals, I couldn't complain too much after the other four members had played their tightest and hardest-rocking set yet (that I've seen, anyway). Leader Ben Turner's boyish sprechgesang sounded twice as confident and just as endearing, and he and his fellow guitarist traded spare, stunning solos throughout (the touches of wah-wah distortion added an extra edge). Meanwhile, the bassist and drummer got to flex their muscles a bit while keeping the same monolithic beat, and the tunes sounded as indelible as ever. I also got to hear the lyrics this time around--not too shabby ("I've been known to make my father curse./ I've been known to make my problems worse."). Very well done.
After Range Life came Desert Noises, a four-man band from Provo, UT. It's kinda unfortunate that I already described another Provo band, The Mighty Sequoyah, as Beatles up top and Stones down below. I still consider that fairly accurate of TMS, but it would've been even more so of Desert Noises. Poppy melodies; strong, soulful tenor harmonies; bubbling bass; rolling and tumbling drums; sharp, bluesy lead guitar. They handled boogie, disco and funk with equal aplomb. I can't really picture Mick Jagger writing lyrics about Stephen Hawking, though. John Lennon, maybe.
You can find info about Range Life and Desert Noises on Facebook and elsewhere online.