Uzi Rash 6/13/12 - photo by Mike G

It’s no surprise that Eric Kang of Poor Sons is also in Buffalo Tooth, as the bands share the same basic premise: psych rock that eschews the tinny retro vibe, at least production-wise, and instead goes with a bassy, heavy sound.

But at their Wednesday night headlining gig at Elbo Room, Buffalo Tooth were wearing their proto-metal influences a little more brazenly: I was hearing Motorhead, Blue Cheer, and Diamond Head — or more precisely, early Metallica covering Diamond Head, especially on the 7″ cut “Only Son”, which they busted out at the show.

“Only Son” packed even more of a punch live. Greg Downing, guitarist/vocalist, told me their debut LP is pretty much ready to go. I expect you loyal Bay Bridged readers will be hearing from me about that before too long.

All of which is not to say that Poor Sons didn’t play a killer set of hard-edged psych rock. It was my first time seeing them here in SF, as well as my first time seeing them with their original bassist, who is now back in the lineup. (Call him the prodigal bassist, I suppose.) The personnel change hasn’t caught these dudes slipping.

Uzi Rash, now, they were something else entirely. Just bass, drums, and vocals. What I’d call more of a classic punk band — all attitude and harsh, grating noise designed to really pummel you. No treats for the head here, no melody to nod your head to. There was also a bit of old-school punk theatrics, as the lead singer wore short khaki shorts that showed plenty of his ass crack, a bermuda shirt, and wrapped his head in tape for some reason. Good times.

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