Sunday, June 13, 2010

100 Shows of 2010 - #31: Native/This Town Needs Guns/Octaves @ Black Cat, 6/7/10

I’ve often found it to be the case that the best way to deal with that onslaught of The Mondays is by soothing your soul with some seriously loud music. And as luck would have it, a triple bill of loudness rolled into DC on a Monday night, providing a great antidote to the Monday night blues. Co-headliners and labelmates Native (hailing from the Midwest) and This Town Needs Guns (popping over to our side of the pond to tour newest release Animals) were joined by Baltimoreans Octaves for what ended up being a darned good threesome.

MINI RECAP: Native = Rock! This Town Needs Guns = Rock! Octaves = Rock! Overall score: B+.

I didn’t catch their entire set, but I was pretty impressed by the very, very loud antics of Octaves. A fiery, excitable group, they proved that badasses can have a softer side, dedicating their set to the recent loss of drummer Shane’s beloved feline friend Tigger. Crushingly loud, shouty metal seems to be really starting my engine these days, and Octaves certainly fit the bill. Dynamic and energetic, they were a perfect start to the night.

Going into the show, I hadn’t been totally sold on This Town Needs Guns. Being cute and English does earn a band plenty of points in my book, however, so they had a head start before even taking the stage. Bountiful banter ensued over the course of their set, and I have to say they come off as a very likeable bunch. Their sound also seems to suit live shows well, the lively clatter appealing to me much more than on record. “Baboon” sounded really good, with lots of intricate guitar strumming and off-kilter, off-balance bits adding extra interest. Slightly jerky, the song had a hint of aggrevation, which I found most agreeable. The drum intro on “Rabbit” reminded me just a touch of Clinic’s “Walking With Thee”, but the ensuing racket ended the comparison soon after. I’m still not totally convinced, but I must say I liked them live a lot more than I was prepared to.

Finishing off the night was Native, my band of the night. Even their soundcheck was lustily loud, and got me even more excited for their set. “Let’s have some fun, let’s get crazy,” they said, beginning to play. The buzzing drone and frenetic drums, not to mention their total rocking out onstage, won me over almost instantly. Shouty vocals and a good moustache will get my every time. There’s something rather special about their towering soundscapes of glorious doom. It’s a winning mix of snarling shouts, angular guitars, and hellaciously hellion drums. Their songs were somewhat shambolic, somewhat chaotic, and they were fantastic. I like me a band that comes across as somewhat schizophrenic. “This is the coolest venue we’ve been at all tour,” said they, and I’ve been hearing that about my beloved Black Cat a whole bunch this year. As it turns out, I actually like Native live even more than on record. They’re a lot more raw, a lot more unhinged. My one complaint about their set was that it wasn’t long enough, and was over way too soon. I could have listened to their chunky, thunderous noise for hours.

Not a bad way to spend a Monday night, all told. I’d have to say, these bands all make for rather good entertainment. So get out there and give ‘em a try, won’t you?

mp3: Ponyboy (Native from Wrestling Moves)

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