SHiNDiG (week 6)

I’d like to preamble this review with the following: I have great respect for a group of people willing to get up on stage, in front of a potentially hostile, or apathetic audience, and play their own music. I almost have more respect for bands who must know how far they have to go before they stop sucking.

Having been a judge last night, I would like to have abstained in the voting process. For each band, I had a real hard time saying nice things about them, although I managed to find one or two good things to say about each of them. Of the three bands, The Olden Days probably has the most potential. They are a depressing kindercore band, and once they get over the ‘it must be sad to be arty’ hump, they’ll probably do alright. And practice some more. And get more comfortable on stage. A certain amount of nervousness is fine, even endearing, but they were just awkward. It was really quite sad. I hope for their sakes the main singer (whose neck was wrapped in a wool scarf) was sick, because the boy could not hold a note for anything. It just kindof disapeared.

I should have guessed from their name that Subconscious Satellite was going to be all psychedelic prog rock. I suppose the best thing I can say about them was that they would make excellent arena rock, were this 30-35 years ago. Their meanderings, their silly, Phish-like lyrics, Greatful Dead-inspired ‘space jams’ to segue between songs, their tiresomely predictable guitar solos—I could have done just fine without them all. As a former deadhead, heavily into psychedelia & 70’s prog rock, it was just sad to see and hear this staple of my youth done so badly. It was unfortunate, because individually, they all seemed to be pretty decent musicians. Perhaps they’ll split up and each go on to greatness in other acts.

Ending the night was Rakshasa, some kindof odd rock outfit. To get things out of the way, a personal note to the lead singer: That much pretention, combined with the Raine Maida impersonation doesn’t do anybody any good. To the bassist: If you’re going to be the center of attention, standing out front, do something. You looked so lost up there. The drummer really drove the band, the guitar work was fine (although the lead guitar was strangely lost in the mix somehow), but nothing really worked. Admitedly, I may have liked them more if it weren’t for the singer’s antics. The final piece missing was cohesion: they just seemed to be all over the map, trying things out, without finding what exactly worked for them.