PORCH at the Hemlock Tavern, by Patric Carver
PORCH (photo: Patric Carver)

Hurry Up Shotgun started off the night by ripping into a positively aerobic set, where making music seemed more of a physical than cerebral activity. The guitar was positively thunderous, rattling through the small space. However, this band proved itself to be more than simply a noise making machine — their intensity was matched by delightfully curious choices in performance.

Example: In the song “Gravity,” the time signature seems malleable. The musical manifestation of Sybil, the chords seemed to trip over each other in a jarring — but mesmerizing — way. Their songs were sometimes shapeless and plodding, but always purposeful and captivating.

Color TV took the momentum from Hurry Up’s set and brought the energy up to 11. Think of the loudest show you’ve ever been to — this one, undoubtedly, was louder. You'd never think they would to look at them, but Color TV soared into action with buzz-saw riffs. Big sound was met with ingenuity as they proved there are still new ways to make noise by touching their guitar to the cymbal stand and letting the noise produced drag in the air during their final song.

PORCH, led by Todd Huth (formerly of Primus), ended the night with a set that was equal parts experiment and traditional rock and roll — providing a sound that was pure comfort food for those of us raised on a steady diet of Nirvana and Soundgarden in the '90s. Charging from heavy, drilling rhythms like that of The White Stripes to the charming pulled-pace drudgery of mid-'90s storytelling songs (think: The Violent Femmes’ “Country Death Song” or Green Jelly’s “Three Little Pigs”), with breaks for spidery cacophony and squalling bass solos. Keeping with the theme of the evening, innovation was summoned once more when Huth used a violin bow to making his guitar peel off screeching, devilish cries. Techniques like these gave PORCH an edge that is genuine. They go beyond simply reliving the '90s and fully recreate '90s sounds.

Unfortunately, if you missed this show you're going to have to wait a while to see PORCH. The band is taking a hiatus from live shows to focus on recording a new album.

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