Concert Review: Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men @ TT the Bears (9/17/10)

Artists: Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men
Location/Venue: T.T. the Bears, Cambridge, MA
Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
Gentlemen Jesse: WOW! Being only casually familiar with this band, I was pleasantly surprised that I loved every second of their performance. I was as energetically into the music as I would be for most of my favorite bands that I see, and it seems like this same zeal was true for most attendees. Pretty solid for an opening band. I had seen Gentlemen a little while back, opening for the Black Lips. Now, I don’t know if it was me, but they struck my senses far far more this time around. It was just one song after another of great pop/rock numbers of the catchy/noisy variety, and it was quite loud, well I’ve seen louder, but the volume was really essential here. It just gave the music that extra ummph, so to speak… They played an excellent set and were without a doubt the best of the evening, which I totally did not expect, because I really dig the Boys and the Darlins. All in all, the hopes I wished for in my previous post were more than satisfied and I do plan on continuing my venture into these (WE FUN!) Atlanta Rockers’ discography.

Highland Crawler
Kinda Up Tight
All I Need Tonight (Is You)
Word Gets Around
What Did I Do?
If I Can See You
Black Hole
Put Your Hands Together

The Strange Boys: The fun continues! With the Strange Boys there is this really delicate feel to their approach. In other words, these Boys can produce an invigorating, often loud and in your face, abrasive, punkified blues sound and yet maintain a very mellow, almost quiet tinge to their performance- a good comparison is Deerhunter, in this respect (not the music itself), which I had the privilege of seeing both of them open for Spoon about half a year ago. It’s like they can channel all this Black Lips esque garage chaos into an incredibly calm release. In terms of the actual sound, it was fantastic as before. In fact, I’d wager that they sound (much) better live than on record, which I enjoy. These guys are great performers and extremely proficient at their craft, particularly in the following jams- “Woe Is You and Me,” “A Walk On the Beach,” (Massive kudos for the gentle, but powerful pause between the soft opening chords and the louder “top of the mountain…” second half) “Should Have Shot Paul,” (classic opener), “Be Brave,” amongst others. Easily one of the better bands I have seen.

Those Darlins: These Darlins rock harder and better than most females one cares to name. Hours earlier, I was amongst a few fans in front of the stage. But, by showtime, the Darlins had garnered themselves a well-deserved, packed-sold out show. They displayed great shoWOMANship and crowd interaction including direct eye contact, going into the audience, and so forth. They rocked out with about an hour long set, which was good, but didn’t include as many of my favorites as I expected, oh well. They did however play such classics as “Who’s That Knockin’ At My Window?” (the opener), “Wild One,” “Red Light Love,” and their latest release, “Night Jogger.” They performed well, but the set was plagued by poor PA, which I don’t attribute to the band, as it seemed like they tried to fix this. Either way, this didn’t stop the band or the audience from having a good time. The show concluded with a really fun encore in “Funstix Party,” the B Side to their new “Night Jogger” 7″. Everyone came out for this number including Gentlemen and the Strange Boys as we all sang along to the raunchy, but catchy tune. With booze and saliva a flyin’ for a few moments it felt like Black Lips kind of craziness (to a much lesser extent).

Grade: B+

7″ Review: “Night Jogger”

Artist: Those Darlins and The Funstix
Label: Oh Wow Dang

Side A: “Night Jogger”- Let me first say this is a tad bit more adventerous in sound for the Darlins, which is a good thing. If you’re big into their country sound (which I am) you may or may not dig this. I mean this still retains a lot of country elements, but it’s not as evident as their previous works. Either way, I’d like to see them expand into new territory. This song has a great groove and is almost modest in a sense; just like a layed back, slick, cool song, not too wild or attention grabbing and yet you can still dance to it. The vocals are what we have come to expect from the group and they are as solid as ever. Not my favorite from them, but it’s still a good song.

Grade: 8/10

Side B
: “Funstix Party”- This is the better of the two songs: a rowdy, rockin and rollin, female King Khan BBQ number (lyrically anyway). This has a great blend of country-Darlins styled vocals with garage punk (I know I hate using the broad label too, but it really works here) production: jangely guitars, a nice little solo section, and pounding drums. It’s heavier than the A Side and in my opinion is much funner. I can picture this being a great song to mosh and sing along to live. The lyrics are humorous and licentious, which is always a pleasure- “I’ll bring the pussy you bring the dicks. FUNSTIX PARTY! FUNSTIX PARTY!” Now, that’s what I like to hear!

Grade: 9/10

Overall Grade: B+

Once again, Those Darlins will be playing in Boston at T.T. the Bears on Friday, September 17. I can’t wait! And if you are not in the Boston/New England area, then check around, since the Darlins are on tour right now and very well could be hitting up a club near you.