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THE BICYCLES, TUSKS, THE PINECONES and WAX ATLANTIC, Thursday, January 17 at the Horseshoe. Rating: NNNN
The Bicycles - the band that got the indie kids dancing to their hyper bubblegum pop for as long as their short sets could carry them in the mid-2000s - are back from a three year hiatus.
At Thursday's gig at the Horseshoe, organized by Tusks' Samir Kahn, the Bikes were previewing songs off their upcoming third album, Stop Thinking So Much, due in April.
Someone in the crowd yelled out, "Never break up again please!" but actually the group seems to have benefited from the time apart and the process of coming back together: their new songs are mellower, more diverse and more collaborative, with most of the members taking turns on lead duties, sometimes switching up mid-song. Not to say they've stopped rocking out or being fun; they've just branched out and matured. And there's an excitement to the freshness of the new material.
Earlier, Tusks played a tight set that sounded - and I mean this as a huge compliment - much like their recent album, Total Entertainment. Except that on the album Steve McKay didn't take a few minutes fixing one of his cymbals while Khan improvised stage banter about his day job and listening to Purple Haze.
Rounding out the bill were British Invasion/grunge trio the Pinecones and Dave Dalrymple's new band Wax Atlantic (so new, I guess, that they wrote "Dave Dalrymple" on the board outside).