The Men, Fur Helmet, Wrung, Barbed Wire
Wednesday April 6, 8 pm at Union Pool: $8
If you were always hanging out in the garage as a kid, wearing your favorite motor-grease-stained “Daddy’s Little Girl” sweatshirt, munchin’ on Cheetos (only when your mom was out back in the hot tub sippin’ wine coolers with her gals, though), and sneaking sips of your pops’s Bud, then the soundtrack to your childhood was no doubt the same ’70s and ’80s proto-metal, classic-rawk sounds that have inspired NYC rock-n’-roll revival band Barbed Wire. As the evening’s openers, they’ll set the tone with their familiar brand of brawny, Lizard-King-not-dead rock rippers. Is this nostalgia tripping or high-concept performance? You be the judge.
The noise-rock devotees of Wrung will push the show into angsty older brother territory, complete with hoarse, whooping-cough battered vocals and complete disregard for pleasantries. Fur Helmet offers an equally shred-tastic set, but with a somewhat groovier outlook as heard in their psyched-out, haunted-by-the-blues rock. This band harnesses Wrung’s same depraved energy, just after that same older brother’s discovered Baudelaire and jazz grass.
And I reckon that the headliners, The Men– the forever kickin’, stripped-down, noise-loving Brooklyn testostertroupe– might be reason enough to check out this show. Feel free to ask these Men when they’re fixing to put out a new record. Us fan-types have been tapping our feets since 2014’s Tomorrow’s Hits. We’re confident something’s cooking though, as The Men folk are keen to remind us, “we ain’t done,” “still goin.” Oh, and a few photos taken in the recording studio might be a sort-of hint that big, manly things are coming our way.
Dirty Fences Record Release Party: Liquor Store, Birdcloud, Dinos Boys, the Brooklyn Bluebirds
Friday April 8, 8 pm at Union Pool: $10
It seems Dirty Fences— the Brooklyn band that manages to sound exactly like dirty jean jackets and day-old cigarette stank– are not actually playing live music at their own record release show (seems they’d rather sit back, get drunk, and brag about their 7″ of sonic achievement). If that’s what you’re looking for, you can catch them the following night at the Bowery Ballroom with Low Cut Connie. Meanwhile, a lil’ garage-punk throwdown is happening in their honor at Union Pool this weekend, with or without them.
A slew of scumbag bands from far and wide are convening to celebrate the brand new Dirty Fences 7″– the band’s very first release with Die Slaughterhouse, the Atlanta label home to the likes of the Black Lips and Dinos Boys. The latter, an Atlanta hometown act, are fresh off the SXSW circuit and have apparently made the trip northward to cool off from all the debauchery they sustained in Austin but engaging in more debauchery, of course. And we’re glad they’ve chosen our humble borough for showing off to. Hopefully we can borrow some of the band’s Deep South heat, found in the Boys’ frenetic, energetic, pop-bopping garage ditties. Worst case scenario, they’ll inspire a temporary explosion of the summer’s-almost-here party spirit (uh, that is until it snows again). Best case, this show will mark the beginning of a rock bender to remember/forget and the next thing you know, you’ll awake sprawled out on a slip n’ slide, dazed and buzzing from the July sun, and wearing nothing but ketchup-stained Hawaiian shirt and a sarong.
Those leather-clad playboy vibes aren’t all you have to look forward to at this show. Birdcloud is a band whose badassery and originality offers a welcome detour from the solid, but establishment sounds that are gonna be heard all over this show. And don’t for a minute mistake this Murfreesboro-born band for some cutesy twee outfit– nah, Birdcloud are nasty, self-proclaimed “filth-country” musicians of the tippling type. The two boozy crooners (they’re regulars in the Nashville music scene) pen wonky, acoustic-guitar-backed operettas of middle-finger-wagging twang (heard especially loud in their anti-authoritarian banger “Fuck You Cop“). Birdcloud are at their best when they hit that perfect balance between straight-faced parody and WTF lyrics, as found in the not-so-chaste chastity ballad, “Saving Myself for Jesus,” in which the girls sing in perfect harmony: “You can titty fuck me/ Tie me up, dry hump me / Smack me in the face/ I’ll even let you call me mommy.”
Rounding out the bill is Liquor Store, the Jersey-boy band that appears to have been lying low since their 2013 album In the Garden, which delivered another shot of that treehouse-building, adventure-time, boys’ club garage rock that dominated many rock circles for a time thanks to Mr. Ty Segall and his loyal disciples.
Uniform, Latishia’s Skull Drawing, Bambara, Conduit
Saturday April 9, 8 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
Latishia’s Skull Drawing are doing some rotten things to restore a stripped-down brutality to hardcore punk, offering absolutely no training wheels for uninitiated ears and showing no qualms about injecting listeners with uncut rage. Inspired by international forms of hardcore, the band mentioned to Noisey that their unusual name (often abbreviated as LSD) could be either a “rip off or an homage” to LSD, the Osaka-based ’80s hardcore band. Their sound could also be a deep-nod to the deeply underground and aggressively emaciated recordings of fringe hardcore, a timeless sort of music whose drop-out, fuck-you principles are sorely needed in these dark times we live in and for a world where it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between lines from arguably the bloodiest Cormac McCarthy novel and one exceedingly blonde Presidential candidate’s casual rhetoric.
As for the rest of the lineup, well, it barely needs convincing, see: Uniform, Brooklyn’s very own post-punk informed cyber-goth/hardcore outfit, and Bambara (bluesy weirdo noise rockers who just released a new album called Swarm). Their inclusion makes the appearance of the UK’s Conduit– a holdover from the gauged-out, slicked-down mangs, screamo-emo days of yore that some of us would much rather forget about than relive– barely tolerable for those of us who never learned how to do the pop-punk synchronized head bang. For the rest of you poor people with a lingering soft-spot for the stuff, well, Conduit is opening, so even if your cold-hearted friends just don’t get it, you won’t have to choose between emo-punk and spending time with your pals (we’ll just arrive later– much, much later).
Jaill, Fletcher C. Johnson, Holy Tunics, Slanted
Thursday April 7, 8 pm at Palisades: $10
And to make up for that distasteful bout of cynicism, let me recommend a bright n’ sunny for all of you who are only happy when it’s not raining. You don’t even have to tell me that you’re a big fan of Burger Records, I just know. Get your hands together in preparation for clapping them together and squealing at a very high pitch, because Jaill will be performing this week at Palisades. This band’s unabashed devotion to the purist of pure guitar pop has evolved over time, informed at first by a sugar-sweet garage doo-wop cadence, the band eventually shed all of its pretenses. They took the difficult path and doubled-doubt on the pop songwriting thing and trying to be 100 percent pleasant on the ears and refreshing as a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice-cream. In short, they’ve achieved just that. You know what you’re getting yourself into when you sign up for Jaill, so just embrace it bbs.