Sunday, February 17, 2013
Diluted, Mr. Gutsy, Rogue Gallery and Mind Shoes @ the Red Room (2/13/13)
Having finally popped my Built to Spill cherry on Monday, I decided that I should get back to checking out some lesser known bands. This show seemed to be just what the doctor ordered: it featured four bands I'd never even heard of before. They were all locals to boot.
As I drove down to the Red Room this night, I wondered if everybody was gonna be over at Neurolux watching the third of BTS's back-to-back shows. Happily, I counted about thirty-five people when I arrived, most of whom stuck around for the whole concert.
New group Mind Shoes kicked off the night's music. This was their first gig ever, and it showed. Their lead singer spent most of the set with her fingers in her ears and her face a nervous blank. Meanwhile, her bandmates stayed mostly on beat but never quite came together to form a cohesive whole. Once they get more confident and comfortable, however, this group is gonna rawk. Their songs fused grinding blues-based metal with jerky post-punk artiness and came bedecked with sultry vocals, fluid basslines, unassumingly intricate drumwork and shredding guitar solos. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this band.
Next up was Rogue Gallery. These guys liked them some old-school rock star swagger. Frontman Scott Sweet strutted around and spent a good chunk of time standing at the very edge of the stage, guitar fully erect and vertical. At least they had the music to back this stuff up. Their thunderous riffs, fiery solos and lumbering grooves supported their catchy, well-schooled original songs and earned some roaring applause from the crowd. They may have sounded a little ramshackle, but for the most part, that just added to this set's hang-loose appeal. Until they tighten up some, however, they might want to rethink that "Pride and Joy" cover.
Mr. Gutsy played next. If you're gonna name your hardcore/metal group something like Mr. Gutsy, you're probably gonna have a pretty good sense of humor. Such was the case with this group, whose plodding tempos, brutal riffing and guttural, yelped vocals brought a grin to my face in spite of my ingrained distaste for this kind of stuff. I mean, c'mon--how can you resist titles like "Beat 'Em and Eat 'Em" and banter like, "I just wrote this song yesterday, don't know what to call it yet"? A handful of dudes got their mosh on during this set and collided like bumper cars. Frontman Collin Wilkinson apparently got socked in the mouth, but he didn't seem to let that bother him much. Good trashy fun.
Hardcore/metal group Diluted closed out the night. I looked this band up on Facebook after the show and found this disclaimer: "if you take this bio seriously and brand us as devil worshipers; [sic] then you may want to visit your doctor and get checked for DSH (diminished sense of humor)." Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. This band punctuated their set with plenty of jokes and goofing around. At one point, all the members took their shirts off except for guitarist Ben Little, who offered to show the crowd the sliding fee scale regarding the removal of his clothes. Horseplay like this helped put the music over, although honestly, their buzzsaw guitars, pulverizing rhythm section and screamo vocals were quite enjoyable in their own right. I just wonder, are the Supremes really drummer/lead singer Ian Jones's favorite band?
You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.