PRF South (Day Two)
With Wailin’ Storms, Spider Bags, and Maple Stave
I’m still not entirely sure what PRF is (some sort of music forum I think?), but they put on a whole weekend of shows in Durham under the name PRF South. It had been a while since my lazy ass had left the house for some rock music, and this seemed as good a time as any.
There were bands scheduled all day at the Pinhook, but I'm rarely an “all day” sort of person, and instead got there in the early evening to take in just a few sets. First was Wailin’ Storms, a local group I’m always seeing listed on bills, but I've never actually witnessed in person. They’re a four piece of mostly tall dudes, which I only note because so many
musicians are short. I don’t know why that is, but it felt
noteworthy. They had a smoke machine, and they had it working overtime…not great for photos, but who doesn’t enjoying feeling like they’re watching a band inside of a bubbling cauldron? They were pretty damn heavy, yet not what I consider metal – my first instinct was the punk of Drive Like Jehu crossed with the sludge of Tar, maybe throw in some Unsane…I really need to update my references past the
early nineties probably. I dug it for the most part, and since
their set was only thirty minutes they never overstayed their welcome. Let me go on record that with only a few exceptions, I’m totally fine with thirty minute sets being the norm for every band.
After all that rock and hard work of standing around losing my hearing, I was forced to go upstairs to Pie Pushers and eat pizza. That all rock clubs don’t have a pizza parlor directly above them is a goddamn traveshamockery, and it makes me question their dedication to the craft of making me happy.
Speaking of my desire for short sets, the next act I saw, Spider Bags – are maybe my favorite local, are definitely one of the exceptions – they are always welcome to play as long as they want. I haven’t seen them in what feels like forever (actual elapsed time: a little less than three years) – they used to play constantly, but much to my chagrin they have slowed way, WAY down. There were new songs this evening, and a mention of an impending new record, so hopefully the live appearances will again become more plentiful. In fact, outside of starting their set with “Que Viva Rock N’ Roll” and one other older track, they performed nothing but new songs. And if those new tracks are indicative of the rest of what is to come, their transformation from garage punk to a modern version of the James Gang is getting closer and closer to completion. You know who’s a-ok with that? This guy right here.
The last band I caught this night was Maple Stave, the closest thing we have in this area to the late-nineties/early-oughts math rock that used to dominate my listening habits. I’m not sure if that once dominant style of music has died out, or I’m just not tuned into the scene anymore, but it feels like you rarely hear math rock anymore. Or maybe it was never as popular as I thought it was back then, and it was my own listening habits that skewed my perception? Fuck,
who knows. They’re pretty damn good at it though, and even if I
don’t listen to this kind of rock all that often now, if you are in the mood Maple Stave is a pretty good option. Double baritone guitars but no bass, a drummer that plays so hard you’re afraid he might have a heart attack at any moment, exceptionally silly song titles…they check all the boxes, and with aplomb. Good on them.