The stage at last Friday night’s show at the Hemlock hosted an eclectic motley crew of understated indie crooners, confrontational post punk performers, and fuzzed-out pop embraces.
The night began with Adios Amigo, which features Johnny Major from another Spanish-named band, Il Gato. Their music is more low-key than in your face, with subtle crescendos and washed out three-part vocal harmonies. It’s the perfect music for the end of a day at the beach, when the late afternoon sun pales everything to a light golden hue. If that is your thing, their new album is available for a free download here.
The next band to perform, Bad Bibles, was quite the opposite. Sticking to seasonal references here, they were more reminiscent of a harsh winter on the Eastern Bloc – dark, grey, cold. More derivative of Interpol than Interpol’s derivatives, I honestly couldn’t differentiate one song from the next. My opinions aside, the sound was polished and they did their thing well.
The evening took a particularly weird turn, though, when after the third or fourth song, the lead singer got confrontational with the audience: “let’s talk.” Uh-oh, here we go. “Is the music too loud? Because there’s all this space here in the front,” pointing to the void at the foot of the stage. In case you are wondering, the volume was not loud at all.
He went on and on about it for a minute or so while a few people awkwardly shuffled up closer to the stage. The rest of us left. I was beginning to wish I had gone to Serra Bowl.
Luckily, the evening was redeemed by Kids on a Crime Spree, the new band – and best yet – of Mario Hernandez from Ciao Bella and From Bubblegum to Sky. Their live sets have a certain fuzz induced brain crunching effect that can’t quite be translated on a recording. Expertly crafted pop songs accompanied by a lo-fi wall of sound shows that you don’t need more than a couple of guitars and simple, punchy drumming to make this girl happy.