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The Rat Beach Party

The C Note, Hull, MA

Sept. 30 - Oct. 1, 2017

I’m going to pick up where Blowfish left of on the Saturday night installment of the Rat Beach Party.

State of the Union
Sandy Summers - State of the Union

My last State of the Union

address was a few months back at Out of the Blue. They were flying their righteous pop punk flag, fast and furious with the emphasis on the punk side. Both Joe’s have strong voices – Perry’s more frequent vocal leads a little smoother, Joey W’s back up and occasional leads land somewhere between Joe S and Mick Jones. The C Note set, focused on new tunes like Panaflex Blue, Small Town Hero and Juliette, let the pop side of their punk set the tone. The trio format lets everyone shine. Sandy Summer pushed the rockers and changed up the feel just enough differentiate the catchy pop schtuff. The band is working on a new disk at Woolly Mammoth with Dave M. They hope to have it out by December.

Brian Young - The Thigh Scrapers

The Thigh Scrapers

keep moving forward. The gigs at Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC have tightened up their mix of Dolls house covers and originals. Joey W. from State of the Union did double dutch on aggressive bass. James Christopher James always sounds great on that buzz saw and his goldie locks made fine use of the stage fan. Brian Young is a lanky, genial dervish up front. Like Sybil, he has a lot of voices looking for ways to express themselves. His control over them is tightening up with the band. There were plenty of highlights but the one that sticks out came on Sunday night when he was cajoled into joining 61 Ghosts as Wayne Kramer falsetto on the MC 5’s Ramblin’ Rose – an inspired moment of impromptu wildness.

Sunday Night

61 Ghosts

61 Ghosts

are the duo of Joe Mazzari on guitar and vocal and the singularly named Dixie on drums and backing vocals. They shake out a dirty garage punk steeped deep in gutbucket blues. Think early Flat Duo Jets, or local heroes Ten Dollar Mistake or the White Stripes and Black Keys minus the pop parts. The guitar sound looks way further back to guys like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Johnson and Junior Kimbrough. Mazzari has played in a lot of bands. Most notable in this neck of the woods is his work with Simon Ritt in the Daughters who went on to be Johnny Thunder’s backing band for a few tumultuous years. The crowd was Sunday night small but Mazzari didn’t use it as an excuse to chill. Dixie kept the back beat focused and straight-forward. This left Mazzari plenty of room to splatter the room with impassioned guitar sparks.


It just ain’t cricket to review your own band so I asked Brian Young and Mike Weddle to do it. Brian went with “A great bunch of oddballs, owning Ellington, Cramps and Beefheart covers.” Mike threw in “sax and violin blended an otherwise typical mix into a sensational new dimension. The sax screamed and the violin cried. Both blended with the band to make both soft and powerful sounds. Jiblantos aren’t exactly from planet rock. In their case, that’s not such a bad thing."

Rat beach
The Pineapples

The Pineapples

were one of those bands that you trip over at a festival show like this – not exactly with the general program but a blast none the less. These guys were on the prog pysch side with the emphasis on rock – not a keyboard in sight. They were up from New York, had a bit of a heyday in the early nineties and by all indications the haven’t lost a step. The had hints of Discipline era Crimson if they were doing Lark’s Tongue’s in Aspic or Vander Graff Generator with time limits on the songs or Sonic Youth in a mature mode. There was an intriguing amount of complexity in time signatures and tonality. To their credit the playing was never bloated or indulgent. Everything stayed in the service of the rock, riff and tune. All the players were top notch. The interplay between the two guitars – especially the pedals pushed on one and the slide use on the other – upped the ante. These guys are first rate Fuzztival material.


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