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Thee Fightin' Fish, Evert

Opus, Salem MA

April 4, 2018


Audio courtesy of Jeremy Lander

I missed the opening act Club Linehan A Go Go. Thee Fightin’ Fish include Stigmatic Bob Roos on lead guitar and Matt Robinson on bass and long-term local rock guy Andy Excuse on vocals and guitar and George Kondylis on drums. TFF tread the hard rock punk rock line. Kondylis and Robinson keep the rhythm section unobtrusive but robust. Roos fires off economical solos that serve the tune, keep you listening, and never showboat. Excuse’s vocals are the focal point. He has a strong, theatrical, low-end tenor. It has hints of Andrew Eldritch minus the goth affectations. They kick it out live on the few tunes you can find on ReverbNation, the Cramped-up, human monster mash 'The Creeper' sticks out. Ditto for the Roos fest that punktuates the karma dripping 'You’ll Get Yours'. A punked up cover of Al Stewart’s 'Year of the Cat' earns a few smiles.

Evert is the hot mess, find a wallet with cash and no ID, kismet of the night. The band looks grizzled with the patina of playing every local dive you can vaguely remember. Jim Alger won’t be showing up on the voice, but he’s in his element with this trio of rock and roll miscreants. His thick-tone solos stretch past the punk short and gnarled rule for some face melting, especially when he stomps on the wah.

Matt Burns has played drums with more local bands than you ever will. He’s the benevolent king on Evert’s drum throne. Matt keeps the two knights at his roundtable from getting lost on the quest. His fills were quick and righteous, and he kicked like Hai Karate.

Matt’s found a great rhythm section foil in Joe Packard on bass. I’ve seen Joe mad doggin’ around shows for quite awhile, but the big guy can play! He’s no Biancucci, but he keeps his long fingers dancing on the fret board. He has a hustling, fat, clean tone that cuts through the din. Packard's sound is take no shit assertive. It’s well-placed as an equal component of Evert’s clamor coupled with a ‘let’s have a good rockin’ time’ stage presence.

On this Wednesday night, not a lot of the upstairs crowd wander downstairs. Definitely, a bring your own crowd kind of night. The music room at Opus has one hell of a compact digital sound system, and a great sound guy. Nice monitors. The bar isn’t cheap, but well stocked and friendly. Same for Bruce at the door.


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