Tuesday, June 11, 2013

High Desert Hooligans, Trigger Itch and Piranhas BC @ the Red Room (6/7/13)

This night's Neurolux show had a definite buzz to it, no doubt owing to its headliner, the Grizzled Mighty, having played Treefort this year.  However, I'd already written about that concert's openers, the Blaqks and Parade of Bad Guys, a few times before.  This Red Room show, on the other hand, featured two acts I'd never seen.  That was enough to tip the scales in its favor.

I counted about fifteen people when I got down there.  There were about forty there when High Desert Hooligans played, but most of them chose to hang out on the patio during that set.  So it goes.  At least, judging from the crapload of people that I saw when I walked by earlier in the evening, the Neurolux show was well-attended.

Piranhas BC opened the show.  Boy, these guys sure do grow on you.  I've liked their catchy tunes and fluid, piercing solos from the first time that I heard them.  The more that I see this group, however, the more impressive that their tunes' consistency and their groove's sturdiness become.  The same goes for their smart arrangements and James Thomason's offhandedly deft vocals (a little mock-Phil Anselmo here, a little rapid-fire reciting there).  I dig Thomason's non-stop hopping, strutting and mugging as well (though he does make it difficult to take a picture of him without using a flash).  Winningly unpretentious.

Local group Trigger Itch played next.  Between their manic rhythm section, their metallic, rockabilly-ish riffs, their ferocious soloing and their rough, shouted vocals, these guys called to mind my favorite metal band, Motorhead.  They seemed to drag the beat a little on one song, but then I realized that it was a split-second tempo shift.  Most of the Red Room's patrons were outside when this set started, but it didn't take long for people to come back in and cheer the band on.

Redmond, OR rock band High Desert Hooligans closed out the night.  If you look up this group on Facebook, you'll find plenty of bands listed under "Influences": Dead Kennedys, the Runaways, the Ramones, AC/DC.  Respectable names, no doubt.  Influential, I'm sure.  Still, I smell what Harold Bloom might call an "evasion."  With their hard-driving rhythms, buzzsaw riffs, harshly catchy tunes and growled vocals, these guys and gals were damn near a dead-ringer for L7.  Nothing wrong with that, especially when you factor in the Hooligans' funny, bitchy lyrics and playful stage presence (sarcastically golly-gee mugging, some gentle nudging).  It really was a shame that most people drifted back out onto the patio during this set.  At least they got a chance to see the lead singer and bassist when they hopped down and ran out the door during a massive drum solo.  They didn't get to see Piranhas, Trigger Itch and others dancing and jumping around onstage with the Hooligans during the finale, though.  Smart, rowdy fun.

You can find info on these acts on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Wes Malvini and the Red Room.  If you like what you've read and would like to help keep it going, click the yellow "Give" button and donate whatever you can.  Even $5 would help.

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