I first caught their show on the 29th of October, 2008 at a lower east side club called Fat Baby.
I was instantly impressed with the high level of musicianship displayed by each of the three members, as well as the solidly crafted songs.
Like I said, the band is a classic power trio where each musician is exceptionally proficient at their respective instrument. Their setup reminds me of the late 1960's supergroup Cream - whereby the bassist is also the lead vocalists, the drummer is a thunderous user of tom tom's and the lead guitarist is an impressively quick and soulful axeman. However, they are far less blusey than Cream - and more straight ahead rock and roll.
Check out their opening song on that night:
"dumb and the ugly"
In that song you can hear elements of Slash-style playing in the intro - and in fact the entire intro bears at least a bit of a nod to the best elements of "Appetite" era GNR. However, when the verses break in, the emphasis on those forceful downbeat bass punctuations, gives it more of an AC/DC feel (circa "Whole Lotta Rosie"). That is to say, the song encompasses (at the very least) two elements of traditional hard rock, that's very easy to get in to.
The members of the band consist of lead vocalist and bass player Jesse Hunter - lead guitarist Tyson Schenker - and drummer Justin Freeman. Jesse just happens to be the son of legendary Mott The Hoople leader Ian Hunter and Tyson is the son of legendary UFO and Scorpions lead guitarist Michael Schenker. Justin's dad is not Sting - but they guys like to kid him about it as there is a believably passable resemblance there (and makes for a funny story). These are simple facts that I feel I should report, but it shouldn't really influence your appreciation of their music, one way or the other.
Later in the set they played a tune called "Nothin"
This one has that "Train Kept-a-Rollin" feel that comes with somewhat angular, quick-chop progression. Lyrically, it has all the bad boy elements of rock you've come to know and love. "It's 9:05 and we're ready to go, we're pickin' up where we left off after the show, and it's 15 more cans up on the wall, piled high in the sky and gettin' ready to fall."
Jesse has a powerful and raspy voice, that fits these dude-on-the-edge lyrics perfectly.
Check out "Easy" from that same show:
I next caught the band three weeks later at the lower east side venue Arlene's Grocery
The lighting was much better here for video recording, so was able to capture the boys more clearly during this set.
This song employs a rapid fire rhythm and features a particularly tasty wah-wah pedal guitar solo-outro from Tyson.
Check it, and see for yourself:
A week later I caught the band once more - this time at a venue I frequent so often I should probably get my mail delivered there. I'm talking about The Trash Bar in Brooklyn.
Jesse and Justin have been playing together for quite some time, and the intuitive interaction between them is apparent. Justin also adds backup vocals for Jesse's lead singing, with gives the songs an added dimension, admid the ferocious playing.
It's another great tune, this one a bit in the Aerosmith style, built around a Joe Perry-esque riff.
It's more "bad boy boogie" attitude, with lyrics that go "I got nasty habits - straight back from hell I'm comin' to die" and "tatoos and aviators hide your disease".
The chorus is straight on and driving, as Jesse sings - "well you didn't care, that I'm not alone, yeah, I'm not alone" against a descending chord progression.
For further info on this band, surf on over via these links: