Monday, July 9, 2012

Boom Chick and Restavrant @ Neurolux (7/6/12)

Sometimes, it only takes a name.  I'll see a band play if I've seen them before and liked them, if I've heard of them or if somebody I respect recommends them.  Sometimes, though, a band only needs a cool name to get me interested.  Such was the case with Boom Chick.

This show got off to a rather late start due to the opener, Restavrant, having trouble getting to Neurolux.  The audience started off rather small for a Friday night show (about 30 people or so), but it gave these two bands a warm reception from the beginning and grew in numbers as the night progressed.

Los Angeles-based guitar-drums duo Restavrant looked as if they could've stepped out of Harlan County U.S.A. or Deliverance.  Guitarist Troy Murrah sported a scruffy beard, a red mesh Budweiser cap and a white T-shirt with the sleeves cut off while his partner J State wore a dirty white wife-beater and played a drumkit with overturned buckets for snares and a tamborine with some newspapers taped on top for a hi-hat.  Their music, however, went somewhat against their self-consciously white trash look: rather than, say, Waylon Jennings or David Allen Coe,  it sounded like Son House gone punk.  Gritty, raspy, filtered vocals and fast, finger-picked country-blues guitar met nimble, hardcore-speed drumming.  This was definitely worth the wait.

Up next was Brooklyn-based guitar-drums duo Boom Chick, who went for a more retro-60's look.  Frank Hoier sported blue jeans, a black vest and a mop-top haircut while drummer Moselle Spiller had long, wavy brown hair with short-cut bangs and wore a black-and-white skirt, black stockings and a black, long-sleeved, low-cut top.  In keeping with their image, their slick, unfailingly catchy tunes drew upon a variety of 50's/60's styles: I could hear everything from Phil Spector pop to Elmore James to the 13th Floor Elevators.  They played a cover of Link Wray's "Ramble" and snuck in a quotation from John Lee Hooker's great atheist blues "Burning Hell," and their originals didn't sound any worse for it.  Hoier's clean, boyish singing voice suited the material perfectly, and he cranked all kinds of cool sounds and solos out of his vintage guitars.  Spiller's kick-and-cymbals-heavy drumming seemed simple until you noticed how it swung, stomped, skipped, strutted, rolled and tumbled (she played a mean Bo Diddley beat too).  Boom Chick got the crowd dancing and didn't let them stop until the end of the set.  Hopefully, even more folks will come to see them on the next go-round.

You can find info on Restavrant and Boom Chick on Facebook and elsewhere online.

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