Monday, August 27, 2012

Andrew Felts, Memphibians and Cerberus Rex @ the Red Room (8/24/12)

The Red Room threw their second movie-themed party last Friday night.  I missed their Star Wars-themed show, but I had a good reason--Toots and the Maytals played the same night.  Anyway, I was curious to check out their Jurassic Park-themed party, especially when I saw that it'd feature mega-hard-rockin' local group Cerberus Rex and a couple of acts I'd never heard of before.

I got down there just in time to watch Laura Dern fend off the velociraptors in the power room. I sat at a table near the back and looked around at the patrons' costumes (my favorite was this one guy who dressed up as a dinosaur).  I didn't have anything that would've made a decent costume, but since I wore all black, I have glasses and I'm a pretentious asshole, maybe I could've passed for Ian Malcolm.

First up after the movie was Andrew Felts, a musician from Jacksonville, FL.  His rough vocals struck me as a little snide at first, but after a couple of songs, I realized that "pained" described them more accurately.  The man sang as if he could barely suppress a scream or a sob or both.  This suited his smart, sardonic punk-country tunes perfectly.  His sharp lyrics livened up the good old my-woman-left-me and my-woman-done-me-wrong themes, and I especially appreciated when he sang through a clenched jaw a la George Jones.

After Andrew Felts came Memphibians, who also hailed from Jacksonville.  Their clanging riffs, endearingly harsh vocals, xylophone and French horn hooks and rock-solid drumming got the punks in the crowd dancing and bouncing off each other.  Between songs, they gave shout-outs to Boise state parks, Lucky Peak and Finn Riggins (who they said helped them book this gig).  Hopefully, all of this means that we'll see them around these parts again sometime soon.  Grand arty/grungy fun.

Cerberus Rex wrapped up the live music for the night with a focused and galvanizing set.  Drummer Jake Hite was in particularly pulverizing form, and Josh Galloway worked up a fine bellow--I could even make out some of the lyrics this time around.  Meanwhile, the bass sounded as monolithic and the guitars as scorching as ever.  During their set-capping cover of Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice," Z.V. House scraped, detuned and literally tore at his guitar strings to produce some glorious noise.  Well worth a little ringing in the ears.

You can find info on these acts on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Wes Malvini and the Red Room.

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