Cambre & Comrades

The Mermaid Lounge

November 01, 2004

Sonic violence for peace. Positive noise.

On election eve 2004, guitarist Rob Cambre used peace songs by The Minutemen, Don Cherry, and Albert Ayler as springboards for his trio's Free-Jazz influenced Rock experimentation. Cambre was joined by drummers A.P. Gonzalez and Dave Capello.

Cambre's cutting, malicious, effects-driven sounds were straight from the noise Rock handbook, but the band's song structures had more in common with Free Jazz. Song endings were uncertain. Glances flew from one musician to another to judge direction. Cambre kept me guessing, and that's what made the concert fun.

One second Cambre was moved ferociously up and down his guitar neck while a cymbal cacophony filled the room. The next moment Cambre played a repetitive, straightforward rock progression that created a circular sound effect as his drummers flurried.

The two drummers worked well together, and they each took one song break to make the trio a duo. Gonzalez's jazz influences were evident from the get-go. His fills, rolls and speed were constant--he was the jazz animal filling in the background.

Capello's hard-hitting, uninhibited approach kept his beats out front. This complemented Gonzalez's style well. Capello was a crazed madman on the drums. He was in a maxed-out, anxious state. He covered his snare and floor tom with a hubcap and went to town. It was very freeing to watch.

Maybe because it was the night after Halloween or because people were getting to sleep early to get up and vote, but there weren't a lot of people at Cambre's gig. Maybe 20. They all seemed appreciative of the music, though.

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