City Magazine Music Review – Bug Jar 7/10/10 by Frank De Blase My buddy Big Bruce in Seattle once told me while we were watching Japan’s extra -lo-fi and explosively wild Guitar Wolf that he’d take guts over talent any day. I immediately adopted this theory...
City Magazine Music Review – Bug Jar 7/10/10 by Frank De Blase My buddy Big Bruce in Seattle once told me while we were watching Japan’s extra -lo-fi and explosively wild Guitar Wolf that he’d take guts over talent any day. I immediately adopted this theory and have gone on to apply it to so many bands I come across with talent, but who ultimately suck because they’ve got no guts. It’s a balancing act, I know, and I like to be shocked and amazed and thrilled by talent just as much as the next guy. But I’ve got to believe it; it’s got to have guts.
That brings me to Stolen Bikes, a band that played first on a triple bill this past steamy Saturday night at the Bug Jar, along with Spacelords and The Brud. What made Stolen Bikes so good was the band’s long reach. Each member of this trio played beyond his abilities. Yes, that contributed to a bumpy ride in spots, and a couple of false starts, but when the talent caught up to the guts – and it did – it was pure magic. It was straight-up punk rock, un-self-conscious and defiantly proud. It was all about the immediacy, the urgency, the energy, and heart – the daddy of all guts.
Talk about talent; everyone in Spacelords (a nod to Monster Magnet, perhaps) is skilled at his weapon. The band holds to a deep groove that isn’t funky, but just as intense as funk music. Rooted in guitar-driven, post-alternative, original rock, the band owned whatever it had ever borrowed from anywhere or anyone else and rocked loud and unpolluted (the music, anyway, as more than a few shot made it to the stage from appreciative fans). I was literally turning to Nick the soundman and say something like, “Gee, don’t these guys sound like a cool version of Deep Purple?” when the band ripped into “Highway Star,” the band’s only cover of the evening.
The Brud closed out the night and it was back to the guts, with loud guitar, thundering drums – why do you suppose they call him Andy Smash, anyway? – and the kind of speed that teeters pleasantly between breakneck and cruise. This was the first show I’ve been to in a while where I was glued to the stage for the entire night. The spirit was willing, and so were the guts.