RIBS, Honeywild and the Growl
March 14, 2013
Last Thursday, I was at the Mercury Lounge, specifically to catch the Perth Australia-based band, the Growl based primarily on the strength of their “Liarbird” single. Although they struck me as being initially kind of reserved, they were incredible. They played a grimy, blues about sin, redemption that was reminiscent of the great bluesmen of the past; so it wasn’t surprising when they did an impressive cover of Son House’s “John the Revelator,” complete with harmonica, and call and response between the members of the band. It was at that moment where I recognized that these guys truly get it. As Robert Johnson’s dear old mother once said, echoing the thoughts of countless folks across the country, “the blues is the work of the devil.” The sadness of the music comes from the terrible behavior it regularly encourages and then some. Playing the blues meant eternal damnation – at least, that was the old belief …
There were a few other highlights including a Christmas-themed blues song, sung just by their lead singer, in which the narrator pleads with his lover to “love him until Grandma leaves.” But it ends with a little triumph note, with the narrator essentially saying, “next year, I’ll find much better than you anyway!.” Hilarious but it has a grain of truth to it, as well.
Opening the night was the Boston-based trio RIBS and they were impressive. Playing with at ton of effect pedals, the trio played a power chord prog rock that played with time signatures. i’d love to catch them again.
Honeywild, the second act I saw weren’t very good. In fact, everything they did was cliched and not very good – their sound, to even how they moved fit into the “how to be a live band textbook.” Worse, their musicianship wasn’t that great and they came off as though they were rocking hard – er, nope, I don’t think so, dude.
For these photos and the rest of the photos from this night of music, check out the Flickr set here: