Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Holy Water Buffalo, Brass Bed and Uintahs @ Neurolux; A Seasonal Disguise @ the Red Room (9/4/12)

The UT band Holy Water Buffalo has been through these parts a few times before, but I'd never gotten the chance to see them.  That in itself would've given me a reason to check out this most recent Radio Boise Tuesday.  It helped too that the bill featured Brass Bed, a Louisiana band whom I'd also never seen, and Uintahs, a local band whom I've grown quite fond of.  And of course, "Holy Water Buffalo" is one funny name.

Some work at home had tied me up, so I got down to the Neurolux a little late.  Thankfully, I managed to catch most of Unitahs's opening set.  Attendance was pretty sparse (only about 20 people), but at least the crowd gave the music an appropriately warm reception.

I'd very much enjoyed Uintahs's set at the Red Room a couple of weeks back, and this one was even better.  Marcus Youngberg's rapturous, aching howl sounded in fine form.  His and Perry Bentley's guitars sparkled, swirled and cascaded while Patricio Torres's chugging bass and Malcolm Youngberg's rumbling drums pushed the music relentlessly onward.  This was their first gig at the Neurolux, Marcus Youngberg told the crowd.  "I hope they let us come back."  I doubt that they'll need to worry about that.

Up next was Brass Bed.  Their dreamy yet clanging guitars, streamlined bass and muscular drums sounded just a little similar to Uintahs, but their evident classic rock influences gave them plenty of distinction.  They sounded like the Beatles one minute (pop melodies, boyish vocals, dancey beat) and Black Sabbath the next (screeching solos and sludgy, stomping outros).  "This is our first time in Idaho," their lead singer said at one point.  The way his face lit up when the audience responded with a big round of applause could suggest that it won't be the last.

Holy Water Buffalo played last.  Their long hair and tall, skinny frames screamed 70's classic rock, and their music matched their look--I heard some Stones, some Skynyrd, some Zeppelin, some Sabbath.  Luckily, they had the chops to pull it all off.  Crooned vocals joined with twangy, elemental riffs, bluesy solos, soulful keyboard parts, rubbery basslines and dynamite drumming.  Their strong groove and catchy melodies proved irresistible to the crowd, who cheered so loud that you'd have thought that there were two or three times as many people there.  "You guys are the shoot!" the lead singer told them.  "We're on the radio, gotta be careful."

After Holy Water Buffalo finished, I headed over to the Red Room.  Wes Malvini had been excited about booking a band from Oakland called Silian Rail for this week's Atypical Tuesday, which made me eager to see/hear what they're about.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance: both Silian Rail and the Dirty Moogs had canceled.  This left A Seasonal Disguise with the task of playing an extended set.  From what I caught of it, however, the local group handled the challenge just fine.  Z.V. House delivered stunning solos throughout, and his bandmates sounded even stronger and more confident than they did when I saw them back in May (especially drummer Annie Berical).  Consequently, their original material rocked harder and sounded lovelier than ever, their brooding take on "When the Levee Breaks" could look Led Zeppelin's right in the eye and their "Cortez the Killer" cover was an act of flat-out shamanism.  On that last song, House invited a member of the meager audience to sing when he couldn't recall the words.  That left him free to demonstrate just how eloquent his guitar can be.

You can find info on all of these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Radio Boise.

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