War Amps, Narcissy, Happy Talk, Clint Maedgen, and Big Rock Candy Mountain

One Eyed Jacks

September 12, 2009


This was a fun, long night that ended up raising much money for Candace Lamb. It was a great show of support.

War Amps, the new local boogie stoner metal band, started the night off. It was dark, heavy stuff, and the crux lay in the dual guitar attack of Paul Webb and Tom Beeman. I already knew Webb was good. Now I know he's great. It was nice to see him be able to spread his wings a bit.

I like how the band found room for smart, proggy exercises within the sludge. Seemed like Strawberry, the lead singer, spent half his time offstage, pacing around and headbanging along to the music.

Next up was Narcissy, the local garage rock trio. They got their best reception yet. And they rolled hard with that good energy, turning out impassioned, wonderfully dirty versions of their "FU" and "we don't give a fuck" rock ethos.

Happy Talk followed, bringing along cellist Helen Gillet for texture. One song struck me, a new one. It was more ethereal and ambient than their other material. It reached for this emotional place and got it. I love watching good bands push themselves and get better. Kudos.

I think it might have already been around 1 when Happy Talk finished, so the crowd was beginning to thin a bit, and unfortunately, by the time Clint Maedgen went on with his one man looping station, he was met with love but not quite as much as he's used to.

Big Rock Candy Mountain didn't go on until 2:30, but by that point, the people left over didn't care. Every time I've seen BRCM I thought they were missing something, and I thought it had something to do with the songs. But, they just needed a better drummer. Their new one really propels the songs. The band knew how few people were left, but they were thankful for them. They showed it by going for their throats, holding nothing back. Guitarist Andrew Hartsock looked a little perturbed, but he used transferred that energy into the songs, giving them a punk force. On their MySpace the band describes their music perfectly by just listing their influences: The Dismemberment Plan, The Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, and Led Zeppelin.

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