Psst … just cos I’m your boy, I sprinkled a generous amount of get-lucky dust all over this one for you. Happy Hallmark Day.
Local band Poverty Branch splashed Back Booth with a tonic of fresh-faced indie rock, folk sensibility and solid pop precision Feb. 5. Uncomplicated, yet effective, it’s no surprise that they’ve been enjoying some decent, consistent support. A great pop song is no small thing, and Poverty Branch are responsible for some of the punchiest melodies coming out of Orlando right now. It’s high time, really, since respectable pop has been in semi-hibernation around here.
Openers Brass Bed were that unexpected find I’m hoping for every time I step out. The Louisiana band were a winning confluence of effervescent indie rock, quirky psych-pop, country and even a couple of moments of noise. Imagine one of the Elephant 6 bands, only powered with more rock juice and draped in some pedal steel. Sounds weird, I know, but it was oddly cohesive. Then again, good songwriting ties up almost anything pretty tidily.
Feb. 7 saw me doin’ the ol’ back-and-forth between Back Booth and the Social. Luckily, it yielded more than just a pocketful of Tabu flyers (not sure what their current dress code is but I’m fairly certain it does not include the T-shirt emblazoned with naked chicks covered in blood that I was wearing).
Beginning at the Booth, local band the Black Noise showed a decent, though still congealing, aesthetic that burned with ’90s indie tendencies and alt-rock muscle. Bearing a sound that groans with density, fuzz and even a little danger, they definitely have potential.
The Social hosted the Dex Romweber Duo. The former Flat Duo Jets frontman deals in atmosphere-rich rock & roll steeped in voodoo blues. Hell, dude even plays with a face that looks like he’s fishing his car keys out of a big bucket of shit with his bare hands. That’s the sort of puss that only comes from a down-in-your-guts kind of conviction. And his drummer sister Sara ain’t no joke either. A tight ticker who can really bang ’em out, she’s really good, and not in that “for a girl” kinda way. They gave an evocative set that wove together darkness, kitsch and soul.
Back at the Booth were locals the Ludes. With a name like that, do you really need me to tell you that they’re a heavy, regressive rock band? Course not, smarty-pants. What you do need to know is that they’re good. Sure, their bluesy, guitar-thick grooves are the absolute antithesis of progress, but sometimes ya just need to rock out, nahmean? Besides, it’s a good vehicle for scene vet Jeff Nolan to peacock his guitar godliness.
Closing the Social was Texas hotdogger Scott H. Biram. He’s not conceptual like the studly Bob Log III, but watch one of his performances and you’ll understand why he’s one of the illest one-man bands out there. With a raw, forceful delivery and an unhinged, outlaw brand of insanity, he’s all that’s comical and genius about the South. In Biram, every virtue of the one-man-band concept shines.
•Apes Ghost Games (Gypsy Eyes) Heavy and organ-laced, this experimental rock is an exciting, original sound that’s some-weird-where between Sabbath, Celebration and Coyote.
•The Raveonettes Lust Lust Lust (Vice) This finely tuned effort finally lands in the place between noise and the big, romantic pop of the ’60s that they always meant to be.
•Throw Me the Statue Moonbeams (Secretly Canadian) This Seattle band’s debut is a rainbow of snappy, lo-fi indie pop that brims with intimacy and effervescence.
•Lions Jungle Struttin’ (Ubiquity) The L.A. collective emerges with an outstandingly distilled, urban sound that mines dub reggae in a vintage yet completely fresh way by tastefully blending it with soul and funk.
•The Big Sleep Sleep Forever (Frenchkiss) More throbbing, druggy, seductive goodness from the Brooklyn psych-rockers, though it does end up melting into a not-so-welcome melodic firstname.lastname@example.org