Better late than never, pt 2!
I suppose I should explain this venue too. The Santos Party House, which opened in 2008, is partially owned by Andrew WK, King of All Things Party-Related. This particular show was held in the basement, which is medium-swanky, as opposed to the upper levels which I have never seen but are at the “table reservations available” level of fancy.
Anyway, onwards to pictures!
Deep Pockets: I only caught about three of their songs, but what I heard I liked. They classify themselves as indie grunge on bandcamp, but they sounded like a punk band with a refined pop sensibility to me. As it turned out they had the lightest vibe of the evening; it would get progressively darker and sludgier from there.
Loss Leader: My notes on this one were “aggressively weird heavy droning rock and roll” and please know I meant that in the best possible way. I spent most of their set watching their lead guitar clamber all over the stage – and one point I lost him, only to realize a few seconds later that he was perched on the top of a nearby wall – and the end of their last song was punctuated by the sharp crack of a broken guitar. Musicians destroying guitars is not a new trick, but this time it felt more like a sharp reminder to pay attention than wanton, careless destruction.
Ovlov: For them my notes were “they put the “heavy” back in heavy metal” – they classify themselves as indie pop on bandcamp, which, what, no, – but though they were a little bit sludgy they also had good energy, and were not just a wall of (slightly fuzzy, feedback-y) noise. Unfortunately the sound was super muddy so I couldn’t really hear their singer at all, but I nonetheless enjoyed their tunes. They’re playing at Shea Stadium Brooklyn tomorrow (Saturday, March 1) if any of you will be around and want to have your faces gently melted.
Pity Sex: I think my first response was Oh, now this band is going to be fun to Google when i get home. Followed immediatly by And I had better tweet . . . carefully. Really, though, it’s an awesome band name. They were a little bit lighter than Ovlov, maybe a hair less drone-y. I’d call their sound punk fused with shoegaze with metal accents, I think. I couldn’t hear their singer(s) either, which was minorly disappointing, but again, I still enjoyed their tunes.
Self Defense Family: They aren’t so much a band as they are an artist collective whose medium happens to be heavy music. The entity referred to as “Self Defense Family” is just one of their many collective and individual projects. They tend towards the abrasive; Patrick Kindlon does most of the singing and his vocal style is, shall we say, an acquired taste. (He’s also the vocalist for Loss Leader, above, and the only thing the two bands have in common is his voice.) I’ve been listening to odds and ends of Self Defense Family’s stuff for a few years now; some of it I like, some of it I don’t, but what I do like, I like a lot.
Seeing them live is also kind of abrasive – they’re loud, there’s a certain amount of yelling – but some aural scratches and scrapes are worth it for the experience of watching Kindlon sway in the center of the whirlwind of sound while conducting the symphony of angry noise.
At one point he asked us why we were so quiet. My feeling, then and now, is this: he (they) had our undivided attention, and we were listening, waiting to see what might happen next, and possibly taking a moment to catch our breaths.
Some of these pictures are fuzzy; I’ve included them to try and convey the general ambiance of their set.