The night began with Sharky and the Habit at Kelly’s Bar. They were something of a dirty, stoner blues quartet. Vocalist Paul Clos draws your eye with his inebriated furor, damn near skating across the stage and pitching in playfully antagonizing rejoinders in between songs. And he’s always off-tune in just the right way. Although, you can’t chalk that to up his alcohol intake – He always sounds like that. Or he’s just always inebriated.
Later, at Small’s, I went to see the Crooks. Now, yesterday I said that Royale (who played Kelly’s at 9:40 Thursday) were better than many of the other stoner bands around town mining the same Cream, Cactus and Grand Funk Railroad influence. Well, the Crooks shattered that perception by putting on one of the grittiest rock shows I’ve yet to see. You know you’ve got a winner when Danny Methric from the Muggs is up front headbanging. Towering bassist Taylor Reynolds echoed a young Mel Schacher, while guitarist and vocalist Jordan Krebs and drummer Ben Van Camp just shredded through the whole set. I’ll be circling their shows dates from now on.
Popped into Skipper’s to catch a glimpse of the Fresh Tones who delivered funk rock most righteous and loud. At the Painted Lady, the Glossies brought their brand of hefty indie pop, played with a great balance between gorgeous and noisy.
Then it was to the Belmont, which I finally managed to locate (Ha! It was right on Joseph Campau!). Gardens, still looking like a crew of thrift-store hipster pretty boys (not a bad thing in their line of work), really slammed. Their lo-fi garage rock had the crowd nodding, dancing and singing along.
Back at Kelly’s, I caught the last ten minutes of Carjack and was flabbergasted. A full-fledged aural assault of drum machines, great, biting guitar and complete unpredictable spontaneity. As I came in, Carjack mastermind (madman?) Lo-Fi Bri was passing out giant Transformers action figures to the crowd. I don’t know what it all means, but I feel compelled to see it again.
I decided to end the night by seeing Jeecy & the Jungle at the Gates of Columbus Lounge. Not knowing the history of Gerald Collins (who released a slice of punky blues with his band, the Algebra Mothers, back in 1979), I was a bit in awe watching him and his new band ripping through a set of strutting no-wave soul. Collins is a natural showman and nothing short of a guitar master, seamlessly switching his warbling blues moan to bewildering solos, sometimes for minutes on end.