Atwood's, Cambridge, MA
February 27, 2017
Night Demon & Anvil
Great Scott, Allston, MA
March 2, 2017
Club Linehan A Go Go,
Greg Allens Fringe Religion,
Tsunami of Sound
The C Note, Hull, MA
March 3, 2017
He moves between populist rabble rousing and personal politics, from historical balladry to the myth of rock'n roll and on to more recent absurdities. His stories about the meaning and writing of songs are a riot. The full house crowd is instantly in his thrall. Josh Kantor - the man responsible for the tidbits of cool tunes you hear pop up at Fenway - joins Langford on keys and accordion to fill out the sound and solos for the second set.
I walk into Great Scott just as Night Demon crush a new tune. The Ventura, California boys wear there NWOBHM on their denim sleeves. Dusty Squires keeps the drums clean and quick on a single kick. Armand John Anthony's riffs crunch and his shot, hot solos make all the right noises. Jarvis Leatherby's vocals won't shatter glass but they celebrate the Heavy Metal Heat and some damn catchy Full Speed Ahead doom and gloom. They even drag out bit of taped thunder storm and a thrift store, bar band second cousin twice removed Eddie.
The can't win for losing boys in Anvil proved once again that, like Rodney Dangerfield, they deserve way more respect. Newish bassist Cliff Robertson can play big or busy with a clean low end theory. He's got a goofball rubber face and makes it clear and contagious that there ain't no place he'd rather be. Lips told a few good stories - one in which Lemmy told them they "played good but there's too much hard stuff".
These three guys don't lumber along. Most of the tunes hurtle through a respectable, but story of their life less than full room of hyper lurching leather. Drummer Robb Reiner double kicks his way into metal heaven and manages to keep most people from hitting the can during the Swing Time drum solo. March of the Crabs, Winged Assassin, This is Thirteen, Daggers and Rum - the only tune from the decent new disk Anvil is Anvil - Die for a Lie takes the piss out of organized religion and the anthemic Metal on Metal keep heads bangin'.
Friday night and it's way cold down by the seaside in Hull. Tsunami of Sound have the Willys and the boards but outside the temp doesn't favor the perfect wave. It's a different story inside the C Note. Tsunami's precision riffage and tiki fire pots raise the temperature at the ghost of the old amusement park. I can feel the sand under my feet. The sun is shining. Mr. Moto is a carney.
Please turn to page 59 in your hymnals...
Greg Allen's Fringe Religion has had some changes in the flock. They're
down to three apostles. The reformation puts the focus on Allen's Ninety-five
theses pop punk musings and guitar playing. No need to throw this out with the
gnostic bibles, the word is still strong.