NO NO ZERO with LULLABYE ARKESTRA and CATL at the Silver Dollar, November 17. Tickets: $7. Attendance: 200. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Regardless of where you stood at the Silver Dollar Friday night, you heard similar conversations.
They usually sounded something like "We just got off tour," went on to "Wait till you hear the new songs we're recording next week," then perhaps ended with "Know any good drummers?"
A room full of players can spell trouble for a band hoping to create reciprocal energy with the audience. Sure, musicians may appreciate what you're doing, studying your riffs while head-bobbing in a dark corner in the back of the club, but committed physical enthusiasm is usually rare.
Fortunately, No No Zero were able to strip the self-conscious layers off the bearded attendees with a formidable hour-plus set of irreverent garage punk. Bodies were actually pushed to the stage front and fists were seen pumping along with the No Nos' rethink of late-80s California punk and fuzzy death blues.
Stocky singer Pius Priapus held court, spouting warble-voiced lyrics like a Dead Kennedys-era Jello B, while backup singer Tara White filled in the blanks with soft harmonies, readjusting the agro-punk quota.
Looking like a John Waters version of the Commitments, they played mostly from their new record, Rough Stuff. The evening occasionally got downright bluesy when guitarist Zak Hanna , Catl and drummer Johnny LaRue settled into a fuzzed-out Delta groove on songs like Uschi.
Earlier, Catl proved his proficiency in this creepy swamp blues genre, laying down a set of warped acoustic jams. Sounding a bit like that freaky, helmet-wearing troubadour Bob Log III, he planted himself on the floor off the stage and proceeded to give his guitar hell while howling into a distorted mic. When he finished, the crowd around him tried applauding him back out, but no dice. Still, as an opener it must have felt good to be wanted.
Local duo Lullabye Arkestra enjoyed a similarly hospitable environment in the middle slot. With friends and fans out in force, drummer/bassist couple Justin Small and Katia Taylor waged war with the low-end capabilities of the club's sound system, blasting sludgy metal noise from their newly minted joint, Ampgrave.
Though Taylor's cranked levels became a bit of a bulldozer of fuzz, the couple's creative appreciation for each other and their chemistry are so obvious, you're grateful just to watch in pain.