Monday, July 22, 2013

Strange Americans, Brass Bed and Marshall Poole @ the Red Room (7/11/13)

Okay, so you've probably noticed that I'm posting this review waaaaaay after the actual show.  I don't think it's ever taken me this long to get a post out (not one on a live show, anyway).

I've got a good excuse, though.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a meeting with a couple of editors at the Boise Weekly.  They were interested in having me do some freelance music writing for them.  I've already completed a handful of assignments, including a review of the Blaqks' first headlining show.

Don't get me wrong; my blogging days aren't over.  It just means that I may not have time to write as many posts.  I'll post links for the stuff that I get published in the Weekly, though, so y'all can check it out.  If you want to, anyway.

Anyway, back to our normally scheduled programming.

Both Brass Bed and Marshall Poole had impressed me very much when I saw them last year.  So when I had the chance to see them both again, I took it.  It didn't hurt either that I'd never seen Strange Americans before (I do like a promising name).

I counted twelve people when I got to the Red Room, most of whom were out on the patio.  When Strange Americans played, I counted thirteen.  So it goes.

Marshall Poole opened the show.  If anything, this young Caldwell trio sounded even more impressive that they did last September.  Their thunderous riffs, fluid basslines and swift, muscular drums had slightly more of a punk feel than I remembered.  That could've just stemmed from their tight groove and sharp, concise songwriting.  As scorching as Rider Sloan's guitar solos were, what amazed me most was how Melanie Radford could sing while still plucking the strings like crazy.

Brass Bed played next.  In my post on their Neurolux show, I wrote that this Louisiana band sounded like the Beatles one minute and Black Sabbath the next.  I didn't quite hear that this time around, but that's not to say that they sounded bad.  Far from it: light, murmured vocals blended with pounding drums, twangy bass and phantasmagorical guitar sounds.  Both dreamy and rousing.

Strange Americans closed out the night.  Their massive riffs, hard rhythm section and soothing vocals and melodies weren't all that strange (kinda reminded me of Kings of Leon, actually), but they certainly weren't bad.  If the modest audience disappointed them, they didn't show it: the guys bounced, lunged and bent low as they played.  They also joked around between songs ("Can you tell we've played enough G-rated shows?").

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