Since I was home for the holidays, and my older brother recently joined a band, I decided to go check them out and see them play. Hey, it can't be that bad right? And above all, he is my brother. Why not show some brotherly love?
The show was at The Alamo, just a dingy punk house in Minneapolis that has basement shows with a shitty PA. My friend Craig and I showed up, walked in and saw my brother sitting on the couch. "We just lost our bass player today," he said. His band, Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels was about to go on tour, and the bass player had scheduling conflicts with his job. One of the guitar players had picked up the bass that day and tried to learn the parts for that night. "Ah, crap," I thought. This could be a long show...
Up first was Banner Pilot. They're apparently a newer band, not too old. Just four kids playing Dillinger Four influenced pop-punk. And when I say influenced, I mean heavily influenced. Their songs were fast, four chords, slightly melodic, with Paddy-esque vocals, but I mean, of all places to expect this sort of band, The Alamo is probably where they fit in most. "Look around this place," my bro said to me when I said to him that Banner Pilot sounded like D4. "A lot of guys in here have been in bands with guys from D4." Makes sense. I thoroughly enjoyed the music and had a good time. They were pretty tight, and had good sound for a basement show. Rumor has it that the singer/guitarist has some right wing tendencies showing through in his lyrics...just sayin' in case that's a turn-off for you...
Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels was up next, now as a three-piece. I didn't really know what to expect from them, but my brother described the band as "we play country songs too fast, really loud, and too drunk." I was expecting something more along the lines of a country-twinged street-punk band, but as I heard the guitar player's guitar through the amp -- that warm, rockabilly distortion -- I knew that it was probably going to be street-punk-tinged country. And that it was. For a solid twenty minutes, the band played through six to nine songs about drinking, heartache, not loving women when they said they did -- basically Merle Haggard if he grew up listening to punk. And I'm pretty sure there was a Merle Haggard song in there... Regardless, Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels played, well, sloppily and not always together, but I forgive them for two reasons: #1) The bass player was also the singer and didn't really know the bass lines (and it's much harder to sing and play bass than guitar), and #2) They are just a fun-time drunk country band. Who needs to play every single part right? People make mistakes, and isn't that what honky-tonk is all about? While the show wasn't exactly the best musical performance I'd ever seen, I generally really did enjoy myself greatly. Extremely fun band to watch. And they're going on tour during January throughout the Midwest and surrounding regions. Check 'em out if you have a chance, and no, I'm not just saying that because my brother is the drummer. But if you want to get pissy about it, I'm sure you can whine about me promoting a sibling all you want to.
Headlining the show was 24 Resons Why, a female-fronted poppy punk band featuring the antics of a pint-sized punker girl on the mircrophone and a megaphone connnected to the kick drum for the drummer to shout through. Besides that, I didn't really hear to much that set them apart from any band I knew. Since there is no stage, the singer ran around and got in everyone's face, singing into the microphone directly into their nose, and stuff like that. Really amusing, espeically while watching the people that got really uncomfortable when she did it. Soundwise, they reminded me of, well, a poppy punk female-fronted band. Like Tsumani Bomb sort of, but a little bit grungier. And while it was executed well, it's just not my idea of really good music. So if that sounds like your thing, you might want to check 'em out.
And now, it's time for more shameless promotion, because Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels are going on tour! Check out their Myspace page for tour dates and four songs.
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