OAKLEY HALL with KINSKI , ONEIDA and the CONSTANTINES as part of the THREE GUT RECORDS ANNIVERSARY BASH at Lee's Palace, August 20. Tickets: $15. Attendance: sold out. Rating: NNNN
So Three Gut Records is turning five and calling it quits, and if a birthday plus a going-away aren't reason enough to party double-hard Saturday night, what is?
That's probably why the Gut bash came as two separate events - Saturday afternoon with Jim Guthrie , Gentleman Reg , the Constantines , Royal City and Oakley Hall was followed that night at Lee's Palace by a killer, all-star night of rawk with a capital RAW.
If you sing, chances are you'd probably kill to have openers Kinski blasting behind you. The instrumental Seattle Sub Pop quartet have the ability to rustle up riffs - power chords and psych sounds alike - of every rock band you love, then melt them together into some kind of powerful, progressive pastiche, often driven by that old rock mainstay, the driving, single guitar note (think Eye Of The Tiger).
Despite sharing their name with supermodel/actor Nastassja Kinski, the band is decidedly anti-glamour - raggedy as Ann and Andy, with long, moppy hair and sweat-discoloured dress shirts. As they blared away for a good half-hour, the team of Chris Martin (your joke here), Matthew Reid-Schwartz , Lucy Atkinson and Barrett Wilke pulled a backwards Darwin, devolving from the sweetness of recent Modest Mouse to the stridency of Comets on Fire to a clanging four-part wail that was all their own.
Brooklyn's Oakley Hall - a raucous, slightly perverse six-piece alt-country soundclash - had the packed audience rapt from the jump. The band's Patrick Sullivan , who looks like the missing link between that stoner from Dazed And Confused and Jay of Jay & Silent Bob fame, charmed people with his deep, crackling vocals on a tale of his "grandfather's grandfather's grandfather," subtly invoking Johnny Cash.
With a western symphony of Greg Anderson on drums, Jesse Barnes on bass and backup, the pixie-esque Rachel Cox singing and playing guitar, Fred Wallace on guitar and lap steel, only Claudia Mogel 's quiet fiddle seemed like the icing on an already well-iced cake - a tad perfunctory. Still, the six of them did well with their anthems, constructing a warm love-in atmosphere with multiple walls of sound.
Tough act to follow, but that's just what Oneida did nobly, followed by the Constantines , who rocked out to a wall-to-wall crowd in a blaze of glory as if their upcoming album, Tournament Of Hearts were the last on the label. Which it is.
We'll miss ya, Three Gut.