CATFISH HAVEN with SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN at the Horseshoe , September 11. Tickets: $8.50. Attendance: 50. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
My big homey wikipedia told me there are at least 34 Springfields in the U.S.
Which is fitting, because from their indistinct sound showcased at the Horseshoe Monday, there are probably at least 34 bands sounding like Somebody Still Loves You , Boris Yeltsin in the four-boy-set's hometown of Springfield, Missouri. That's probably why they gave themselves such an arrestingly smartass band name.
Low-energy handclaps, emo lyrical themes, plaid shirts, nerd glasses and key changes you could see coming a kilometre away weren't aided too much by bassist/singer William , who seemed to have trouble keeping the low notes on beat while vocalizing. The recent Polyvinyl signees should be forgiven. After planned openers Bedmonster couldn't make it (border problems, apparently), SSLYBY didn't have the luxury of a crowd-warmer.
That's prolly why they had to stretch their set out like a baby T on Dom DeLuise; William assured the crowd of 20 or so, "This is our last song," on at least three separate occasions. Funny in a frustrating way, but he really should have pulled the plug before they launched into a cutesy quasi-rapped number that tried for Pavement but sounded more like Third Eye Blind's Semi-Charmed Life.
A sea of hair followed Boris, and attached to it was Chicago band Catfish Haven . Lead singer/guitarist George Hunter got his personality out there early, beckoning the modest crowd nearer with a soothing "Come on in, lovers. Let's make this a real rock show."
With his big band, which hauled out the openers to sing percussion-shakin' backup, he did his darndest. Bassist Miguel Castillo busted off contageous lines of dirt, jittering around the stage epileptically to the beat of two drummers banging on significantly tighter kits than the openers had. A fiesta of tambourines, shakers and enough cowbell to give Christopher Walken an orgasm all framed Hunter's soul wail, a Joe Cockerish belt that cruised through Catfish's hot set like a sandpaper Cadillac.
Taking little time to breathe, the gang devoted energy to rocking a small crowd. When a bass line, beat and guitar riff that sounded hijacked from That's The Way (I Like It) hit, people got down like an all-cast dance sequence in Hitch.