So there I was at the Bug Jar Friday night for the first of what I hope will be many Trash Wave Fests, digging on the Clockmen as the band sunk its teeth into some dangerously fast and loud thinking-man's punk (as I like to call it). This is one mighty trio, softened only by its own self-deprecation and charming goofiness. It was a full-on rock 'n' roll boogie disease that was impossible to avoid, and actually fun to catch.
The individual instrumentation I heard in the sound check with Slug Guts had me jazzed. The sax had some trippy delay on it, the guitar was thick and bright, and the drummer hit the snare with extreme prejudice. But it all got lost a little in the mix when the Brisbane, Australia band mounted the bandstand for real. The energy came on and remained seething with an antagonistic frenzy as the singer split his time between the stage and the floor and the rest of the band split its time between noise rock and post-punk oblivion. It was harsh yet engaging, referential but somehow new and unpredictable. I think I need to see the band again. You should, too.
All Time Low had Water Street Music Hall packed and screaming at an all-time high Saturday night — so much that you could barely hear the heavy-metal thunder going on next door. All Time Low is poppy and fun with a slightly heavy edge tempered only by its mastery of melody. The funny thing is, the melody was in place during All Time Low's accelerated numbers, where most bands rely on the pound and the beat to carry their somewhat monotone vocal line. Instead, ATL applied this to its slower, lighters-in-the-air tunes. The band was loud, energetic, and animated, as was the predominantly female sing-along crowd. It also had one the best light shows I've ever seen.