Ski Bunny, Crow Follow, The Sugar Cones, Fireking
O'Brien's, Allston, MA
March 10, 2022
Tim - Crow Follow
As the winter fades, the pandemic (at this juncture) winds down and gas prices
spike amid Russian-Ukraine war, rock keeps going amid - and perhaps because
of - all the unrest life throws at us.
I trooped over to Allston’s tiny, hole in the wall rock venue O’Brien’s
Pub for what was billed as The Rock Island Show, which
I presumed meant all Rhode Island area acts. Not quite, as at least half the
bands were actually Boston based. In any case, I was in for a memorable night
of no-holds-barred rock with some well-established and newer players that gelled
fantastically and brought a good, diverse mix of piledrive, punk attitude, bohemian
mystique and melodic inventiveness!
Ski Bunny opened up. They're a young trio that exuded third
generation punk ethos with a healthy dose of old school rock swagger. Notable
was their edgy version of the Allman Brothers’s blues-southern rock classic
"Whipping Post", a rather unlikely song for a young, neo-neo-punk
band to cover. Amazingly, it works quite well and the rest of their set, all
originals, held up really well and kept my interest going. Or, shall I say,
they kept me hopping and bopping!
Following up was Crow Follow. They brought a Morphine-like
bohemian jazzy low-rock mystery (with poetic recitals) and early King Crimson-style
progressive rock intensity and complexity into the soup. They brought in guest
vocalist Ruby Viens (daughter of Girl with a Hawks Linda Viens
& Wayne Viens) for their first song. She brought a confident mystique which
was amazing considering this was her debut on stage. Sax player John
Keegan also brought some Funhouse-era Stooges avant toodle-oo, bassist
Carolyn Jean Corella her “Rocky” replica bass savvy
and main Crows guitarist Tim Sprague shredded darkly and vocalist/percussionist
Judy Anne Sprague brought her drama and mystery. And drummer
Laurie Ramona tribally held it all together and celebrated
her birthday tonight! Hey-yanna-ho-yanna-hey-yan-yan to you Ramona!
The Sugar Cones
Next up was an actual Rhode Island based band The Sugar Cones.
They were no bubblegum band, but a power trio that emphasized power! When they
hit it, it was with a staggering intensity and heaviosity belying not only their
name but their sultry looking front woman/guitarist Malyssa BellaRosa,
who was a belter par excellence!
Fireking headlined. They have been burning the clubs with
their melodic but hard rocking songs for seemingly eons! The King of Fire Tony
Kaczynski always brings his vocal passion, songwriting chops and solid
guitar playing through with his band that, even with a new line-up, sounds very
much like a well-oiled (or should I say well-fueled!) unit. "Look Into
the Sun" (my personal fave) epitomizes Tony’s tuneful, driving style
and ‘60s guitar tone. He even went into a cover of the Beatles’s
"Rain" that reveals part of his musical roots. But Rain certainly
won’t be putting out the Fire(king), they’ll be smoldering on and
flaring up somewhere in clubland!
Caroln Jean Corella - Crow Follow
John Keegan - Crow Follow
Judith Spraque - Crow Follow
Malyssa Bella Rosa - The Sugar Cones