There’s about six billion people on the world, so no surprise that there’s a lot a of damn good music being performed in the Mecca of the art scene New York. But then again, there’s good, there’s damn good, but also much mediocre music, even mediocre with great ideas. But it is still rare to see the fabulous before they became fabulous, or perhaps to see the fabulous before they split up before they became fabulous. And also, it is a long way from Tennessee, but mark it, because the Evil Army were in New York! And better it got, for I was there to see this victorious parade down the lane of anonimity that all fabulous once walked, before they truely became fabulous. Yet, this is no slow march, but pure blitz: Evil Army is trash punk for the 21st century, and the only question between the Evil Army and underground fame is: are the people ready for them and will the Evil Army be there when they are?
Think Motorhead, Exploited, Reagan Youth, Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, non-stop, no breaks, and incredibly tight for about 45 minutes of the performance, add original style, power, conviction, anger, and pack it together in the Cake Shop basement with a shitty college band from New Jersey in the pre-show, and playing for no more than a crowd of ten, plus two garage bands. But it are these moments in a lifetime that you realize how great music comes about, how you wish you would have gone to those shows ten years from now. Well, I and my cheap Schmidt beers were blasted away by the Evil Army, and you should too, if music means anything to you, forget about instant pop of the past, go see the Evil Army if they march on your neighborhood.
Sudden Walks is one of those bands that make one afraid to miss that first band playing at 9.00 pm. They are old school garage but with lots of blues influences and great bass lines, that don’t lack original power nor great blue melodies, meaning it’s blues without the saturated routine, but it’s garage without the trap of simple riffs. Technically they have some hard work ahead of them perhaps, especially the singer’s ability to play and sing at the same time, and although I am sure it’s fun to have a girl in the band every now and then, they should cut her out the line-up immediately. Garage is played with the heart, and no matter how good it gets, music performance is as much about show as it is about playing music, and some individuals simply can’t do it.
The last band to play was Live Fast Die Now. Funny but true, listening to the bands’ myspace pages, it was Live Fast Die Now that made me decide to go. They are no genii out of the musical bottle, but they they make garage music pretty much the way it was invented to be played: simple, straightforward, fun. And that’s pretty much what they are, they don’t sound like the fast track of life one way or the other, but they play guitars and drum in a backroom with some dudes they like to hang out with, doing their thing.
For some reason the line up had master planned the Vice City Rockers (VCR) to play after Sudden Walks and before Evil Army, but some bands are made to play at 8.30 in the evening, and VCR should have done just that. They are college nerds from New Jersey, who have placed all their bets in the wheel of fortune on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off being the next cultural phenomenon. They put the wrong guy in charge, the guitarist/singer has no talent what so ever, but places himself on the foreground constantly both performance wise as musically. Not to say, there’s no good ideas at all in VCR though, if they could get rid of the mediocracy that plagues them, they might have some seeds to plant. There is some Pogues influences, an element of American-Celtic fusion if that can ever be, that comes out pretty well when they all sing harmony on a simple, rhythm guitar riff. But there’s no heart for music at play that overcomes the misplaced puberal behavior on stage unfortunately.