Sunday, October 26, 2014

Psyatics / Fishing Season - The Hard Hat Lounge, Saturday October 25, 2014

It wasn't all that long ago that I first found out about the Hard Hat Lounge and it has become one of my favorite places in town to see live music - it's small and intimate, with nice personnel, surprisingly good food and cheap drinks. The interior stage is quite small, though, so if a band has more than 3 members, it gets crowded. So, the club has taken it upon themselves to rectify this situation by converting a school bus into a mobile stage which they set up in the parking lot for special shows, such as this one. This weekend hosted one of the many answers to the megatron festival, Life is Beautiful, which was called Vegas Is Beautiful, as it hosted local bands (unlike LIB). As I am old and have a hectic life right now, I missed most of the festival but made it out to see my pals, the Psyatics, since it has been far too long in between shows.

I got to the club in time to see Fishing Season again and this nautically themed trio continues to lie in that limbo-land where I'm not quite sure about them one way or another. The set does vary a bit and I definitely enjoy some tunes more than others. I think they may grow on me, especially as they gel a bit more as a band and as musicians. The songs are simple, but definitely have some hooks and some interesting twists and turns. I'm sure our paths will cross again.

It seems like it's been quite a while since I've seen the Psyatics, for one reason or another, and I'm glad I was able to change that! This three-piece has been working on a new record - the follow up to their rockin' debut Oderint dum Metuant - and showcased a few new tunes this evening, including the opening "You Got Me Hummin'". The guys were in fine form this evening, with everyone sounding better than ever - Rob kinda channeling Tom Waits at times in his vocals and presence, while showing off his bass playing skills (playing regularly in 3 bands pays off!), Jack definitely more confident on stage and moving more while tossin' out wild riffs and Jimmy positively smokin' on the drums!

They did forgo the laptop, which they had used to provide between-song noise and movie ads, but made up for it by making their own sonic disturbances. The sound on this bus was actually way above average for this town - everyone was heard and balanced properly, nothing was overly loud and it has a real lighting rig, so you can even see the drummer!

The CD was well-represented with rockers like "Stole Your Girl", "Death of Me", Dig It Up", "Bourbon Sway", "Oncoming Train", the slower, moody "Evangaline", "Swing on This" and more. There were at least a couple other new ones, like "Sharpest Claws" and "Sin City Dames", both highlighting time changes and Jimmy's drumming and Rob's walking bass lines, along with Jack's piercing leads. They finished up with the frantic Oblivions' cover, "Trouble" and left people wanting more!

Always amazing to see these cats - check 'em out whenever and wherever ya can! They have some high profile gigs coming up, as well as regular stints at cool dives like the Double Sown, so get on down and support local psychotic Psyatics' garage rock'n'roll!