100 Shows of 2010 - #40: Loose Lips/Detox Retox @ Black Cat, 6/19/10

Imagine, if you will, a sultry Saturday evening. Whatever is a girl to do on such an icky sticky night, especially when she’s in the mood for some music. Happily, I found the answer to this quandary in the form of a pair of super fly local bands, Loose Lips and Detox Retox, at my bar away from home, the Black Cat. As far as Saturday nights go, this one was definitely alright (alright alright).

MINI RECAP: Loose Lips = Oh Feistypants! Detox Retox = Oh Sassypants! Overall score: B+.

Detox Retox was up first, and with drummer Kabir Khanna sporting his sunglasses at night I knew the night was gonna be good. “Enough fucking around, let’s start dancing” was the theme of their set, and they immediately caught my attention with their solid, solid dancepop. At times, singer Michael Parker reminded me a little of Placebo’s Brian Molko with his fabulously sneering, naughty precociousness. Their entire set was pretty dang saucy, and I liked it. There was plenty to like, really, between the Molko-esque vocals, the sassy bass, and the snarling mess of the guitar. Detox Retox won me over with their feistiness, sounding at times like LET faves The Rakes would had they been decamping in DC for a while. The songs proved to be shiny, polished, and full of good beats. Not only were the songs way enjoyable, but the band’s stage presence was top-notch as well. Cheeky and totally fun, Detox Retox is without a doubt one of, if not the, sassiest band around these parts. As an added bonus, the band was joined onstage for their final song by Loose Lips, for a fantastic cover of one of my favorite Bowie songs, “Suffragette City”. It was the perfect end to a great set.

After a short breather, it was on to Loose Lips. For whatever reason, every time I hear the band’s name I hear The National’s Matt Berninger singing the line “loose lips sink ships,” though Loose Lips and The National certainly aren’t reminiscent of one another in the slightest. But I digress. They had barely strapped on their guitars before launching into the set, so impatient they seemed to get things going. What they emitted was a big, beaty sound with powerfully driving guitar and percussion and a hearty amount of danceability. They almost seemed to play with a slight chip on their shoulder, aggressively and powerfully. I instantly liked them quite a bit. They weren’t all that big on banter, going from song to song without more than a few words in between, but with songs like this there isn’t much to say. Between the fine little groove of the bass and the herky-jerky guitars, I was verily pleased with their set. The songs were rich and full, and darned if they weren’t getting the kids dancing. As the set wore on, the band got more and more into it, bouncing and thrashing and undulating their way across the stage. Bassist Jeremy Cassano probably staked the biggest sassy claim, but all the band got down with the get down. And their song “The Ghost” sounded to me a bit like a sped-up version of The Jam’s “Eton Rifles”, and who doesn’t love that song? They were appealingly rambunctious, those Loose Lips boys, and they made me rather happy.

Having seen Loose Lips and Detox Retox in the flesh, I can firmly state that they’re two of the finest bands we’ve got in this here metropolis. Locals, go forth and see them around town, and you other folks should check ‘em out whenever they visit your fair hamlets. You won’t be sorry.


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