Well isn't this week just chock full of attendance-worthy, above-average rock shows? Tonight's another busy one, with West Coasters The Soft Pack at Exit/In (and earlier in the day at Grimey's), Southerners The Moaners at The End and West Coasters Black Cobra at The Muse. What's it gonna be, Nashville? Your fresh-off-a-bunch-of-shows-at-SXSW indie darling boy rockers, your fuzzed-out feminist blues stompers, or your face-rattling sludge-metal snake wizards? Yeah, it's a good problem to have. Check out some decision-making videos (plus text!) after the jump.
The Soft Pack
Our Critic's Pick:
Almost as if to balance out the sun-baked, surfy, melodic indie-pop originating from the Eastern seaboard via the likes of Surfer Blood, L.A.-by-way-of-San-Diego quartet The Soft Pack represent the lonesome crowded West with their self-titled album of sun-baked, surfy, melodic indie-pop. Ironically, The Soft Pack are both harder than Surfer Blood -- the bracing "Pull Out" ends with a turbine blast of guitar -- and more surfy. (Let's just say they've probably listened to The Ventures some.) Singer/guitarist Matt Lampkin says the goal he and his bandmates, who played under the name The Muslims until they got sick of people reacting ignorantly to it, set out to achieve was writing "simple, catchy, smart rock songs." They've certainly hit their mark. 6 p.m. at Grimey's; 9 p.m. at Exit/In. --Some guy named Steve
Our Critic's Pick:
A decade ago, Melissa Swingle led the droll post-country band Trailer Bride, whose depressive lyrics and impressionistic music made living in the South sound more bizarre than it actually is. These days, Swingle makes noise with The Moaners, a guitar-and-drums duo with blues leanings and feminist overtones. Her Mississippi roots showed on 2005's Dark Snack, a debut that paid tribute to such rock-and-rollers as Elizabeth Cotten and Flannery O'Connor. With Laura King's drums nervously lagging behind the beat and Swingle's overdriven junk-rock chords coalescing into very occasional hooks, Dark Snack made neurosis sound inevitable and alluring. Since then, King and Swingle have released the fine 2007 Blackwing Yalobusha and toured extensively from their Chapel Hill, N.C., home. Whatever you want to call their music -- blues seems as inadequate a label as indie -- it's chewy, idiosyncratic and very sexy. 9 p.m. at The End --Edd Hurt
From Matt Sullivan's feature:
Many types of metal can be sludgy, and as a nation we've sludged up pretty much every imaginable sub-genre there is. Unlike, say, doom or thrash, sludge is less a sub-genre than a property. If one were forced to make another broad generalization and choose one band that best represents contemporary American metal, one could come up with much worse candidates than Los Angeles-based duo Black Cobra.
Sure, they're West Coasters, but their sound isn't far removed from the Southern metal that has come to epitomize sludge. Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath are still the dominant and prevailing influences on Southern metal, which is to say that a lot of this uniquely American metal stuff is pretty retro. We've nudged the genre closer to its bluesy roots, and Black Cobra's riffs aren't a huge leap from what you find in those old standards -- a leap, sure, but not a huge one. But Black Cobra's most defining feature is, without a doubt, sludge.
Do the Europeans find that corny?
Read the rest of over here. 7 p.m. at The Muse w/U.S. Christmas, Evil Bebos, Across Tundras, Junius & Battlefields.