Sunday, May 19, 2013
The Virginmarys and the Blaqks @ Neurolux (5/15/13)
"The Virginmarys?" I said as I perused the Neurolux concert calendar for May. "That's an interesting name. Wonder what they're like." So I looked them up on Spotify, listened to a handful of songs and liked what I heard very, very much. Definitely worth paying $5, I thought, especially considering that they probably wouldn't be back around anytime soon (they're from the UK).
I counted a little over forty people at Neurolux when I arrived. The crowd stayed at about that number over the course of the show. Pretty good for a Wednesday.
The Blaqks kicked off the night. The more I'm exposed to it, the more innocuous this group's sex-drugs-and-rock-&-roll schtick seems. There's something a bit cartoonish about it; I want to liken it to, say, four guys from New York dressing in leather and writing lyrics about Nazis, sniffing glue and beating on brats with baseball bats. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but if so, it's because, like the Ramones, the Blaqks boast consistently catchy tunes. Also, unlike the Ramones (well, early Ramones, anyway), they can really play--their slick, weaving interplay reminded me once again of the Soft White Sixties, and I guess that you could classify guitarist Tyger Blaqk as Mick Taylor to Danny and Jonny Blaqk's Jagger and Richards. I'll definitely look forward to the EP that they said that they'll be working on.
The Virginmarys played next. Maybe it's just me, but people seem to take hard rock for granted nowadays. You could maybe blame classic rock radio--I adore the Stones and the Who, but even I'll admit that "Brown Sugar" and "Baba O'Riley" lose something when you hear them fifty times a day. The ascendancy of punk and metal are probably factors too. The noxiousness of some of its adherents both "classical" (Ted Nugent, Motley Crue) and modern (Nickelback) doesn't help either. In any case, every so often, a group will blast all the crap away and show me that there's still some validity to the genre. These Macclesfield lads were one of those groups. Matt Rose's booming bass and Danny Dolan's slamming drums propelled Ally Dickaty's melodious growl, thunderous riffs and terse, ripping solos onward. Not only would their tunes sound great blasting out of your car stereo or the Knitting Factory's speakers, a review of their lyrics will reveal that Dickaty can use the head on his shoulders as well as the one in his pants (the Clash fan in me appreciates their stubborn streak of class-consciousness). The crowd cheered wildly after the Virginmarys' first number and kept it up straight through to the end. Can't fault 'em for that: this was some of the best old-school rock that I've heard in a good long while.
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