Friday Night: Linus Pauling Quartet at Fitzgerald's
Local long-running psych-rockers Linus Pauling Quartet have got a new album for us to inhale, and on Friday night, the city took its first rip. The performance was the first of three pre-release shows across the state LP4 had scheduled for the weekend, and they brought a solid bill of fellow astral travelers with them to Fitzgerald's to help unleash their new disc in full.
Local girl-and-her-guitar act Hearts of Animals was the first up Friday night. Songwriter Mlee Marie Suprean's sweet and delicate voice floated along on top of the gentle grunge-pop leaking from her small guitar amp. The crowd was polite and appreciative, but clearly craved more power.
The next group up, From Beyond, was more than happy to provide it. As soon as they took the stage, a huge fog of smoke blasted forth from a machine onstage, providing the proper atmospherics for a band that's probably kicked over a dozen or more bongs thus far into its young lifespan.
From Beyond's riffs are built to crush. The power trio makes no secret of their Sabbath infatuation, and their heavy, stoned rumble combined with the pulsing bass from the Beat Connection show downstairs to rattle the audience thoroughly. It felt a tad like being one of the little metal players in a game of electric football.
After a nice drum solo from Dick Beeman (smoke break!), the band went into a long jam that I think must have been the title track to its recent EP release, One Year. It was pure bar-chord annihilation that I think spontaneously caused a few audience members' hair to grow out.
It was cool, heavy stuff. From Beyond should be a fun band to watch as they continue to gel and explore -- assuming you can catch a glimpse through the smoke.
In a nod, I guess, to the leafy allegiance of the night's crowd, the sound guy played Bob Marley tunes between bands. Nobody seemed to mind.
Next came Modfag. It was tough to miss Modfag on the bill, because their name has "fag" in it. They also have an oddball drummer who dresses like a nerdy peckerwood and beats the shit out of his kit. He creeped me out a little, to be honest. The band seemed to start out sloppily, but tightened up as they played.
Modfag appeared to bring a nice contingent of fans with them on Friday night, including a trio of ballsy young rocker chicks who planted themselves front and center. Perhaps they were drawn in by the sexual magnetism of the Joe Perry lookalike on guitar, but I think they were just getting off on the high-energy rock and roll of songs like "Levitation."
Modfag won me over, too, as their set progressed. Their sound rolls a little Sex Pistols, a little AC/DC and a little Iggy into a pretty potent musical spliff, and the crowd seemed to enjoy watching it burn.
Butts weren't quite shaking to their punky garage rock, but they were definitely quivering a bit.