by Willie Clark
Though Friday may have been one of the first snow-flurry-filled nights of Rochester's winter season, inside Monty's Krown the musical temperature was anything but low. RoarShark opened up the night with a set of surefire surf rock, filled with that genre-defining wet, splashy reverb and tonal riffs that call to mind everything great about the beach (waves, babes, and sunny days) without forcing you to actually go there and deal with the sand and seaweed.
The group forgoes a singer (except for a few screams here and there); this is a guitar world, and by God the guitars are going to rule it. Normally when a band goes without a singer I find that it's hard to latch on to a specific sound, but RoarShark's licks were meaty enough to sink your teeth into. The group's dual lead guitar/bass guitar solo lines easily filled the spotlight.
Then it was the Moon Zombies' turn to rise and take the stage. This group is funk, funk, funky, but with a heavier and solidified rock architecture that makes it a little louder and fiercer than you might expect from a funk band.
The group shifted from one planetary genre to the next, sampling some straight-up ska-skank tunes (Reel Big Fish's "Beer" was in there), to rhythmic and soulful systems, and even heavier rock explosions. Most of the flow was seamless, but there was still a little disconnect from song-to-song with so much genre shifting -- some people may find the band's grabbing of so many sounds divisive rather than inclusive. The keyboard managed to tie things together a bit, but tended to get a little lost in the more rock-laden pieces.
The band shied away a bit, especially vocally, on some of the songs where it seemed a little unsure of itself. But boy, when the group was on, it was firing all cylinders. It created a totally different vibe when it let loose, like on the closer for the roughly two-hour-long set, "Zombie Dance." The world may not have ended on Friday night -- too bad, Mayans! -- but if there were any dead people in the room, I'm pretty sure even they made it up on their feet for the last dance. And since the undead never really die, Moon Zombie has time to continue to flesh out and trim the fat from its set, making everything all the juicier for the living, the dancing, and the dead.