Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Return of Swearin'

SWEARIN'
MIKE KROL
UPSET
HIGHLAND PARK EBELL CLUB
HIGHLAND PARK, CA
02 AUGUST, 2018
It's been not quite 5 years since we last crossed paths with Swearin', a night to remember at the Center For the Arts in Eagle Rock, and since then they put the band to rest, Allison Crutchfield released a solo EP and a full-length album on Merge Records, and suddenly, we're back in business with Swearin', not only touring, but with a brand new LP Fall Into The Sun, due out October 5th.


This year seems to be devoted to discovering new venues, and we'll check Highland Park Ebell Club off the list. Kicking off the evening, Upset has gelled into its classic lineup, at the very least its longest serving, and in what could be their last show for awhile, treated the audience to a set of almost all new songs, from a forthcoming LP that's still in the planning stages. Needless to say, it rocked hard as always, and no matter how many times we see them, (and it's double digits at this point), there's always something new.

Held off on listening to Mike Krol until the show, sometimes it's fun to go in blind. Let the record show that Mike Krol does not fuck around. That people still believe in this day and age in the unending power of rock and roll is an unceasing wonder to me, and when they back that up with a set girded with passion, it can't help but connect. The crowd was receptive, to say the least, and not many songs elapsed before Krol was off the stage and out amongst them. Occupying the intersection between power pop and garage rock, their first show in hometown LA in two years could only be called a rousing success, and given their tightness, I was very surprised to hear Krol introduce his compatriots as a new band. To celebrate the tour, Krol has released a brand new single, "An Ambulance" b/w "Never Know".

Swearin' wasn't shy with the new stuff, kicking off with an unheard tune, and peppering the set with others, including the single "Grow Into A Ghost". "Kenosha" appearing early in the set boded well, and from there it moved from high point to higher, including a towering "Here To Hear", and ended with a raucous "Movie Star".  The core trio of Allison Crutchfield, Kyle Gilbride, and Jeff Bolt regrouped for a string of East Coast shows in April, borrowing All Dogs bassist Amanda Bartley to fill out the lineup. Combining bittersweet ballads and 'blowing the doors off power', Swearin' keeps you on the hook, and by the end, i was a sweaty, ecstatic mess.




SWEARIN'





















MIKE KROL














UPSET








Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Mourn Shines A Light

MOURN
CHASTITY
SIRENA VICTIMA
RICKSHAW STOP
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
29 JULY, 2018
Catalonian quartet Mourn marked the midway point on their stateside jaunt in San Francisco, downtown at the Rickshaw Stop. Joined throughout the tour with Whitby, Ontario's finest: Chastity, they were abetted locally by trio Sirena Victima. Mourn have come a long way in the past few years, from the first time we caught them in 2015, To get up to speed on their current situation, here's a tour preview, courtesy of The Owl Mag

Sirena Victima kicked off the night with a taut set, including plenty from their latest, last summer's To You And Yours, recorded here in the Bay at Different Fur. Chastity's brand new LP Death Lust has been getting a lot of attention, and their set more than did justice to it. Their live sound is huge, Brandon Williams prowled the stage, and the band showed a level of intensity approaching Protomartyr. Mourn held up their end, mixing songs old and new, (their latest is Sorpésa Familia), into a ferocious brew driven by drum powerhouse Antonio Postius. Carla Pérez Vas and Jazz Rodriguez Bueno's guitar work has gotten tighter and more intuitive, and Chastity's bassist Julia Noel (Poor You) admirably pulled double duty and more than kept the bottom end together. The generosity of the set times, and the level of quality amongst all the bands made for a satisfying evening, and special thanks to Captured Tracks and Motormouthmedia for making this happen.

MOURN





















CHASTITY







SIRENA VICTIMA