Review: Kal Marks, Potty Mouth, Malatese, DB Cooper @ Craft House (1/31/14)

Kal Tufts
Bands: Potty Mouth, Malatese, Kal Marks, DB Cooper
Date: Friday, January 31, 2014
Venue: Craft House/ Crab Haus (Medford, MA)

We KLYAMERS scramble around Tufts University looking for this place for a good while until we finally see a big van with musicians unloading equipment outside of it. This is the place. I love these little clues when you’re searching for the right house that’s holding the show. I remember one time I overheard some dude respond to the doorman’s donation request with “hey man, this PBR 40 is all I have on me.” That always killed me, cause I knew right away this is the place.

I’ve never been to a show here before, but it looks like a lot of fun. A living room is packed with college kids, blowing off steam after a long, hard week of working and/or partying.  It’s a relatively decent space and in fact there’s a camera set up on a tripod in the back of the room, catching all of the evening’s activity. I feel like this space is a much cleaner version of what the Die Slaughterhaus (Atlanta house venue, early double ohhs) must have been like. Ohh God, I would have killed to have caught just one Black Lips basement show in 2001 or  2005 or whenever. At least, I am here now and that’s all that matters. I am just going to sit back, wet my whistle, and let DB Cooper do all the work.

DB Cooper (formerly known as Dumpster Banana) – DB Cooper. Never heard of him or them before, but supposedly he or they are local Tufts legends. Before the show started I was informed that DB has elements of Husker Du in em’ and I can kind of see that, perhaps earlier, more hardcore driven Du,  for there is plenty of fast, testosterone droolin’ grit to the DB Cooper band. I’ll point to fellow Minneapolis, alt rock losers  ( and by loser I mean winners) The Replacements as a means of comparison. There’s that party hardy, loud, fast punk element, but there’s also a softer side with a heart to them. In fact, one of the songs is introduced as their “Replacements song.”

DB surely keeps the kids rocking as a tornado of smelly, perspiring bodies slam back and forth into each other at a rapid pace, crashing right into me as I stand in the back of the room on a tiny couch, trying to knock back as many bud lights as I can; I’m trying to catch up with you kids, but don’t knock over my damn beer! Makes me sad, I am no longer in college :(.

I have mixed feelings about DB Cooper. A part of me likes that Husker, Replacements vibe and just the sheer animal quality of their performance. Then again, I feel like, it’s sort of emo, death metaly high school stuff I am not too fond of, it could go either way. It’s fun, but not something I’d go out of my way to see again.

Kal Marks – Kal Marks is just the band I came to see. I fancy myself somewhat of a garage punk nut, though I don’t claim to be an expert or anything, but Kal Marks is one of the few contemporary bands I really dig that doesn’t fall under that category. Their songs may be bleak and brutally honest, but the band still rocks with so much vigor, it’s hard not to get excited when they play. Most of the songs are also quite catchy, but not in a cutesy or bubbly way. It’s all genuine, powerful, and ultimately profound.

For Kal’s set, I make sure I get a nice spot right up front, just inches away from the performers. It’s a packed crowd and like the first band, there’s a solid crowd response with lots of moshing and such.  I’m actually surprised I’m able to stand up front the whole time without flying straight into the drum set.

As far as the songs go, there’s a lot of terrific material on display, much of which appears on their latest and greatest release Life is Murder. My favorite tonight is album opener “Love is a Song, Not an  Answer.” Check out the whole album here: http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/

Malatese – Malatese are on tour from Harrisonburg, Virginia and they are playing a couple of shows with their good buddies in Kal Marks. Tonight here and tomorrow night at Death By Audio in Brooklyn. Some day, I will attend a show there.

I didn’t get a good grasp on Malatese, but they were interesting to say the very least. Definitely far out and more experimental in nature than any of the other bands on the bill. Some say they are no wave and noise. I feel y’all on both accounts. If you’re into weird, but still rockin’ music, check out Malatese here: http://malatese.bandcamp.com/

Potty Mouth – I’ve heard a lot of folks rave about Northampton’s Potty Mouth, but I’ve actually never listened to them myself. Sometimes, seeing  a band live for the first time is the perfect introduction. The band sounds decent with some tight, noisy, 90’s flavored rock, but for most of their performance I’m unable to actually visibly see the band play. There are too many bodies in front of me and I am simply too lazy to move up further at this point. To be frank, I am not sure if I stuck around for their entire set. Those bud lights finally caught up with me. Check out Potty Mouth here: http://pottymouth.bandcamp.com/

This show was presented by the good folks over at Apple Jam Productions. Let’s do it again sometime.


Video shot by Tufts University Television

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