Monday, January 28, 2013

The Rich Hands, Meth House Party Band, 1d and Rollersnakes @ the Crux; A Seasonal Disguise @ the Red Room (1/26/13)

I had fond memories of the Rich Hands' performance back in July, so I jumped at the chance to see them again on this joint Duck Club Presents-Manor bill.  I was also looking forward to seeing Meth House Party Band, who hadn't played a gig since last year's Evil Wine Carnival, and Rollersnakes, a local act I hadn't encountered before.

I counted about twenty people when I got down to the Crux.  The crowd would build to about fifty as the night progressed.  Not bad at all, considering that there were three other shows going on around town.

Rollersnakes kicked off the night.  I may not have heard of this duo before this night, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for them from now on.  Nimble drumming, catchy surf-metal riffs, pretty smart lyrics.  Their stage presence was a little on the wooden side and their groove came slightly unglued at points, but some more gigs should loosen them up and tighten them up.

1d played next.  Their bash bash bash, riff riff riff and bark bark bark had the same glimmers of promise--a sharp noise solo here, some rubbery bass there--that I saw at the State of Confusion show last September.  Those glimmers didn't seem as bright, however, considering that I could only make out one lyric: "F*CK YOU!"  I wonder when/if they'll take the hint from their "Rise Above" cover and recognize that more often than not, great punk rock requires intelligibility.  At least the younger guys in the crowd got into it: there was plenty of cheering, moshing, stomping around and grabbing the mic to sing.

Meth House Party Band played next.  If you're gonna be indecipherable, this is the way to do it.  Their poppy tunes and snarled vocals sounded so playful and articulated that even when I couldn't quite understand the lyrics, I was willing to take it on faith that they made sense.  They sounded a little ragged in spots--their guitar player told me that they hadn't played live since the Evil Wine Carnival--but overall, I was more than happy to hear their viscous basslines, manic drumming and terse, noisy solos again.  The crowd seemed happy to hear them too: there was quite a bit of playful jostling, moshing and crowd-surfing during this set as well.

The Rich Hands closed out the night at the Crux.  Their groove sounded more tight-assed and their songwriting just a touch less distinguished than I remembered.  Still, their simple tunes, peppery drums, buoyant basslines, jangly guitar and rough vocals proved immensely enjoyable a second time around.  The original song that they busted out for their encore sounded like some lost 60's pop classic, and they punked up Bobby Darin's "Dream Lover" very nicely.  Maybe some Motown would help make 'em a little more limber.  Anyway, the ladies in the crowd took this set as an opportunity to get their kicks in.  I mean that literally: a handful of them kicked, danced, leaped and ran around.

After the Rich Hands finished, I swung by the Red Room in the hopes of catching at least part of the show down there.  I counted about forty people when I arrived.

I missed Storie Grubb and the Holy Wars and CAMP, unfortunately, but I did manage to catch all of A Seasonal Disguise's set.  This night's lineup featured Jumping Sharks' Reggie Townley on guitar and Z.V. House's Cerberus Rex bandmate Jake Hite on drums.  Thanks to the new personnel, the band sounded fuller and heftier than they ever have before.  Hite's drumming provided a Gibraltar-like foundation for the ever-smoother keyboard, bass and xylophone.  Meanwhile, Townley's howling distortion and elegant soloing served as an ideal foil for House's gnarled, forceful guitar work.  Very impressive.  Very promising too.

You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Duck Club Presents.

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