Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Swank Bastards, Leather Lungs, the Psyatics at the Double Down April 22, 2016

As usual in Las Vegas, there were a number of good shows this evening - as opposed to the nights when you cannot find anything that you want to do - but I ended up at the DD for this cool line-up.

The Swank Bastards are the surf band that will seemingly play anywhere at any time, but are always entertaining and fun - sometimes despite, rather than because of, their corny, dirty jokes. For this set they opened with several of their own swingin' numbers, showing off their instrumental dexterity and guitar-man Jesse's showmanship - not to mention the lovely Ivana Blaize's dancing - before bringing on Daddy O Grande from the Straightjackets. Together they played a number of covers, several Bastards tunes and even a few from the Straightjackets. While there were some cool moments, Daddy seemed a bit uncomfortable or unfamiliar with much of the material. Still, it was a fun time and the crowd - and there was a large number of people there early on - dug it all. The Bastards went on to do a few more songs after O Grande left and gave the people a heapin' helpin' of quality instro coolness.

I don't believe that I had ever seen Leather Lungs before but was kinda fascinated with their brand of low-fi (the guitarist broke a string on the first number and never bothered to replace it), punky, garage-grunge. I was reminded of a trashier, less lead-centric Blue Cheer, while their look reminded me of 80's/90's LA garage-punk bands like the Supercools. The rhythms were fast-paced and frantic and got some of the crowd to form a faux slam pit that even DD's Cactus joined in on!

Of course, I'm a big fan of the Psyatics and they never fail to put on a fine show filled with interesting musical lines, cool lyrics and varied rhythms within the context of their own brand of garage punk. A good portion of the set was from their two albums, though they did pull out a new original rocker - "I Like To Die", I believe - before closing with their unique take on the Velvets "I Can't Stand It Any More". Ivana gave some visual interest to their set, as well, and a good time was had by all.

Unfortunately, it being the Friday of long week, I wimped out on seeing my pals, Water Landing with our friend Nikki sitting in of mandolin, but heard that they went over well, also. Another great night at the DD!