Yes, there were two days to the festival. 7 bands on day 2!
Read more for the review....
It has been over a week since the Big Neck Fest 2014 in Buffalo, NY and I think it is time to review. Before we dive into Day 1 I want to extend my thanks out to Malik Von Saint who set all of this up. Without him, Buffalo would have been without this festival for another few years. He organized the nights, took care of the door, governed the money, and got those bands rolling on time (no small feat). So again THANKS MALIK!
Let’s start with Day 1, Thursday June 12...
Day 2 Lineup
Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
FATAL FIGURES-Caterwaul (Big Neck, LP)
Most of this band’s membership was in The Blowtops, who hammered out dirty, noisy garage blues churn. There’s still something of that here and they drag their songs through the muck pretty well. The songs that favor a spirited shuffle work best here—“Party Girl,” “Break Me” or “Blue Zed,”the latter song previously appearing on a 2011 single. It’s less-successful for the dragged-out “Wayne Bent” and “New God,” sounding like a musical interpretation of a hangover. Maybe not as much “VROOM” as their previous band (you should check out the Blowtops’ Blackstaticif your curiosity is piqued) but they have the right idea at times. (PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20165, www.bigneckrecords.com)
PLATES-s/t (Big Neck, LP) Like Kim Phuc, Plates have been around for a few years, as well and and their self-titled LP is a volume-drenched head messer. Thick, huge slabs of guitar and, especially, bass (played by Biff from I Object/Brown Sugar/etc) stake out the band’s pummeling attack. I’m not sure about the point of calling one side “Flashing The Steel” and the other “Gang Shower,” but plenty of musical steel is flashed here (damn, that’s some crappy rock critiquery). This is the type of heavy, semi-abrasive rock that wouldn’t have been out of place on Amphetamine Reptile in the 90s. Nods to Hawkwind, with some of the whizzly guitar effects, and “Sentimental Jenny Jones Fodder” manages to be crushing and somewhat trippy at the same time. For pure punk-imbued raucousness, look no further than “Sociology 101” or “Under Suspect Tutelage.” Something tells me I’d need heavy-duty earplugs if I saw these guys live. I hope I get the chance. (Big Neck, PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195, www.bigneckrecords.com) – Al quint
FATAL FIGURES-Blue Zed/Alright (Big Neck, 7") Ugly, bluesy garage/slop with echo on the vocals for this pair of songs, one an original, the shufflin' "Blue Zed" and the flip being a cover of Pussy Galore's "Alright." The latter title sums things--'tis alright and nothing more. (PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195, www.bigneckrecords.com)
HOLLYWOOD-Stunts (Big Neck, CD) If you didn't tell me, I'd swear this was a new Mudhoney album, with the Mark Arm-type vocals, tongue in cheek lyrics and somewhat grungy, swampy guitar sound. It could even have been a new Monkeywrench disc, the sporadic collaboration with Mark and his Mudhoney compatriot Steve Turner, Tom Price from Gas Huffer and Tim Kerr. I've heard a new Mudhoney album in recent years and Hollywood's album is quite a bit better. Enough about those bands--let's get to Hollywood's rock 'n roll stew. The best song here is the raucous, rump-shaking "Toe-To-Toe," with a spacy instrumental break. The opener,"(Scary) Cemetery," borrows a lyrical line from the Ramones "Pet Semetary," and pounds along nicely on a sturdy bass-line, thunder-crack guitar and single note piano plink during the chorus. Bluesy, garagey, down 'n dirty rock done with simple, enjoyable aplomb. ( www.bigneckrecords.com)
WHITE WHALE-Widow's Peak/Rats In The Snow (Big Neck, 7") White Whale's previous demo and 7" were decent-enough but the two songs here don't immediately grab me. Frayed, semi-melodic punk working best on the higher-energy "Rats In The Snow," but something's missing, that extra spark to singe the ears. (PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195, www.bigneckrecords.com )
Best Freeby of the week:
Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb tee shirt - at the show on Saturday Sal gave me one of their new tee shirts and it's sweet.
Best Demo of the week:
Drugs Dragons - Tony Sagger sent me a CDR for Drugs Dragons II&I/II. I have to admit off that bat that I am not a big fan of Drugs Dragons, I was a huge fan of Sagger and Tony's solo work. I think I am just kind of sick of the 60's psych garage rock. Even though Drugs Dragons takes that sound to a whole other level, a weird and heavy as hell whole other level, still not my cup of tee. What I do love about this is the time and efffort Tony puts into any of his releases, look at this CDR:
He created the packaging by hand and drew/painted the cemetary scene, and then cut out the moon and stars so the CD would shine through. Unbeleivable! The time it took to do this is astronomical and its cool as hell.