with Spray Paint and Bodykit
Cat's Cradle Back Room
I've been so goddamn lazy about going out to shows lately. Yeah, I could blame it a little bit on having a new baby, and I'm certainly a little more tired than in the past, but let's be honest the wife does way more work than I do. The main culprit is just pure laziness. In fact, I skipped seeing Bodykit a couple of days before this performance because I knew I would be seeing them on this night.
Anyways, Bodykit - if you don't know the name, just know it's the new band featuring Rich and Josh from the amazing Whatever Brains (R.I.P.). Rich traded in his guitar for a bunch of knob-twiddling electronic gear, while Josh traded in his knob-twiddling electronic gear for...actually, he's still doing the same thing, minus the keyboards. Rich still sings, if you can call his brand of shouting and growling singing. Given the make-up of the band I expected it to be a lot more noisy and dissonant, but these were more or less pop songs draped in velvet curtains of noise and beats. I'm not saying they sound like Liars, but they at least sound like they might shop at the same store or go to the same barber. Also, I know so little about this particular of genre of music I have no idea who else to compare them with. Regardless of compartmentalization, I will happily see them again.
Spray Paint, a three piece from Austin, had the middle slot of the night. After a quick soundcheck they lurched right into their set with little fanfare or small talk. I've seen them one other time - with almost this same exact line-up, except it was Whatever Brains instead of Bodykit - and they were just as enjoyable live this time around. They're just two guitars and drums, and musically I guess you'd say they're doing sort of a caveman protopunk thing, or whatever you want to call it. A lot of the time (or at least at the best times) their sound makes me think of the Cramps covering Devo, or maybe Devo covering the Cramps...but with different vocals. All three dudes sing, sometimes all at the same time, and they all roughly have the same monotone sound...I'm not sure it sounds good on paper but it works on stage.
It's rare these days I suffer through two opening sets, but Protomartyr are totally worth it. It also helps that the openers were great, and neither played for very long. I'm not sure what I could say about this outing that would set it apart from the other times I've written about the band - they are wholly dependable in every sense of the word, from the set list to the outstanding musicianship to the slightly rowdy crowd (Rich from Bodykit is always in the middle of the rowdyness, and quite possibly the instigator). As always, you can't take your eyes off of frontman Joe Casey, though I'd have an extremely hard time explaining why. He looks like a recently fired private school teacher busted for drinking on the job, and sings like the love child of Mark E. Smith and a depressed bassett hound. I'll be goddamned if they're not one of my very favorite live bands of the last half-decade. I simultaneously have no idea how to sell anyone else on this band, or how anyone manages to get by without Protomartyr in their life.