WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

This Past Weekend! (Show one)
September 30, 2008, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Shows

Brought me out of a funk. It’s been too long since I’ve ventured over to the smoke-filled, beer-puddled hole in the walls of Raleigh, NC. Too much time spent with indie rock and new releases and I’ve completely forgotten my love of live, raw, unbridled rawk’n’roll. Saturday rolled around and three bearded, grungey looking dudes in varying states of soberness met up at my place, huddled into an unfitting, bright little yellow bug (new model of course) and shoved off on the 30 minute trek across cities.

We were off to downtown Raleigh moving towards Slim’s where the Whatever Brains were set and ready to play. A little bird had whispered a start time of 11pm into my ear, so that’s what we were shooting for. And surprisingly it worked, we walked in just as the first band, Basalt, from Greensboro, were taking the stage. They were great. A dark, melodic and dreamy wash of guitar and lyrics spread over heavy, though restrained drums. From what I can tell, it’s a solo basement 4-track project fleshed out to a duo that night. Nicky is an engaging songwriter and would easily find a home among ranks of old K Records and Kill Rock Stars releases in a lo-fi, DIY kinda way. They covered a Death in June song! Basalt will actually be playing BCHQ in the upcoming months, so keep an eye out!

Next up was the Invisible Hand from the Charlottesville regions of Virginia. As we were driving out there, my old roommate and I were lamenting over the ellusiveness of that good ol’ indie punk energy. So many things seem straight up punk/hardcore these days or mellow, melody-focused indie rock. Where are the modern Archers and Superchunk?? A question I’ve been wondering aloud a lot lately. Where’s that carefree, raw and loose sound forged from a clash between powerpop, punk and a desire to write more substance into a song?? Well, it’s funny, our question was answered about two hours after our discussion. The Invisible Hand shove through their set fast and loud, but maintain a sense of melody and meticulously thought out song structure. The frontman has a guitar and stance not far off from Mike Ness of Social Distortion, but the music is a more biting, crashed-out sound reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr and well, Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. Exactly what we had been looking for! It was a great set and I’ll definitely be out for the next one. Word has it that they’re quickly becoming tour buddies of Whatever Brains.

Which is actually kind of funny. Because this was Whatever Brains‘ very first show. It was tighter than anyone was expecting. And now, somehow, they’ve already pared themselves off with a buddy band. There was actually another band, Order, that was supposed to play this night as well and that’s the bridge between the two. A little sharing of members action. But anyway, the four man Whatever Brains played and delivered, as promised, a high energy, high volume show of scuzzed out, awkward pop. They’re coming from garage, powerpop and punk backgrounds (Crossed Eyes, Street Sharks, Grass Widow, Strange and Black Castle) and sear noise and anxiety into their ultra-bizarrely-catchy, wall-of-noise songs. Completely skewing and bastardizing the knowledge passed down to us by Phil Spector and company. It was an amazing set.

Here was the first song of their first show. Which also just might be the first song to their first 7″…

This video again and three more right here.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

And who exactly might be putting out that 7″, Mr. Martenstien? Hmmmm?

Comment by Kyle

Bull City Records #01 duuuude!

Comment by wnng

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