Saturday, February 4, 2012

WKNC Double Barrel Benefit - Day 2 (2/4/12)

Here's a brief review of Night 2 of the 9th annual WKNC Double Barrel Benefit.

Heads on Sticks: Most easily put, they're a dance band. But they're much darker, weirder, and harder than that implies. Snare-laden electronic drums with assorted other distorted noises (including, I think, the clip-clopping of horses), mix with guitars and David Mueller's Peter Murphy-ish vocals. Sometimes, when they pick up a second guitar in lieu of the electronics, the guitarists overdub each other live, while Mueller overdubs his vocals electronically. The heavy dance beat melding with more typical indie sound and tricks employed by certain collections of fauna (ie Animal, Panda...) make Heads on Sticks one of the more unique, uncategorizable bands around here.

Heads on Sticks...

Naked Gods: From Boone. These guys have a poppy, happy feel you'd expect from an indie band that lives in the mountains. I can hear some 70s in there... maybe in the guitar? Maybe early Doobie Brothers? (pre Michael McDonald, when they were still cool) Yeah, definitely a 70s vibe on one song they said was a brand new one. But they have a more punky edge, and complicated, edgy guitar. One the song "Hoods Up"(?), they said "this is where the the shit gets weird". They were right, kind of a trippy Gerry Rafferty.

Naked Gods...

Gross Ghost: Fast-paced, sharp indie-punk. Descendents of the Descendents, if you will, but maybe that's just because Mike Dillon's vocals sounded kinda like Milo at times. They have a beach-y, retro undercurrent that's more noticeable in their recordings, but definitely was there live. And the bass, Tre Acklen, is great! Gross Ghost had people dancing at the Pour House, too... but doing a very different dance than to Heads on Sticks.

Gross Ghost...

The Kingsbury Manx: They've got a pretty cool old school keyboard set up... a Wurlitzer electronic piano and a Nord Electro 2. This is key to their sound. The Kingsbury Manx had kind of a rolling, jangly, thing going, but the guitars aren't always jangly... they got rather crunchy at times. Overall, their set definitely got heavier towards the end.

The Kingsbury Manx...

The diversity of this 2nd night of DBB9 was as impressive as the first. In fact, not one of these four bands sounded anything like any of the bands on the first night of DBB9, much less like each other.

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