Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mac McCaughan + The Non-Believers w/ Blackball (Nightlight, Chapel Hill, NC, 12/11/15)

Mac McCaughan's new album, Non-Believers, to me sounds closer to his Portastatic catalogue than his Superchunk one.  It's (usually) somewhat mellower, even atmospheric at moments.  Fine by me, as I've been a fan of Portastatic almost as much as 'Chunk over the years.

But knowing his backing band are the members of primordial garage rockers Flesh Wounds, I was curious how they would manage to, well, frankly... rein themselves in.  Flesh Wounds as a band simply explodes on stage.  That kind of energy could simply swamp McCaughan's finely crafted pop tunes.

Short answer:  they do just fine.  And so does Mac.  Restraint by good players really goes a long way, and can be as important as balls-to-the-wall punk. They played 2 sets, the first of which was mostly stuff from the new album, and a few Portastatic tunes.  I LOVED the amped up version of Angels of Sleep.  The second set was, I think, mostly covers (Iggy Pop, Tall Dwarves, Superchunk... would that count as a cover?).  It gave them all a chance to cut loose a little more, and Mac was clearly having fun with the covers. Dan McGee from Spider Bags got up to sing along on one tune.

Speaking of balls-to-the-wall, openers Blackball (from Raleigh, NC & Richmond, VA) brought the primal energy.  Their singer Ericka screams vocals as if her lungs were twice their size... she is pure id.  Intense hardcore from a very tight band.

Some photos, and a couple of videos of Mac's band, follow (yeah yeah another version of Slack Motherfucker).  As you can see, fog machine was stuck in overdrive.

  Mac McCaughan + The Non-Believers...

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