Synths and loop pedals and ethereal vocals and soundscapes are great and all, but sometimes, we prefer it when somebody just plays an electric guitar really loudly.
If your live music experiences have been feeling a bit too '80s prom-ish as of late (what with the synths and the general aura of nostalgia that seems draped over indie rock nowadays), fear not -- we have the cure. PopGun is putting on an evening of garage rock at Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg tonight, and it promises to be loud and probably very sweaty.
Opening the night is Shark?. And no, that's not an "I'm Ron Burgundy?"-esque typo. Shark? specialize in, as they put it, "Songs soaked in ocean mist. Business in the front, rows and rows and rows of razor sharp teeth in the back," but what that actually translates to live is catchy garage-pop songs slathered in a thick layer of noise.
True rock nirvana awaits somewhere at the intersection of frontman Kevin Diamond's mangled, Greg Ginn-esque guitar solos and lead guitarist Chris Mulligan's winding, reverb-drenched excursions. Bonus: they will probably play their excellent cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine."
Shark? is followed by DZ Deathrays, whose fuzzed-out guitars and adenoidal vocals resemble a less dance-obsessed Death From Above 1979. "We started at a house party and we will most likely end at one," reads their Facebook, and that seems largely accurate.
As a two-piece band, JEFF the Brotherhood and White Stripes comparisons are inevitable, but DZ Deathrays are less arty than the White Stripes and seemingly, more obsessed with '80s metal than JEFF the Brotherhood. (Their lone "influence" on Facebook reads "MOTELY CRUE.") Also, they enlisted comedian Arj Barker to help them film the music video for their single "No Sleep," which is a loving homage to Paul Simon's iconic Chevy Chase-enhanced clip for "You Can Call Me Al," at least until the sledgehammers come out.
The excellently-named Bass Drum of Death closes out the night -- yes, they are another guitar-and-drums only band, but no, they don't really sound that much like DZ Deathrays -- their sound is a little more stripped down, a little more primal, and a whole lot of fun.
Frontman John Barrett was Fat Possum Records' "worst employee 3 years ago," according to the label's website, and he wrote and recorded the band's entire first album himself using just a laptop and a USB microphone. That DIY spirit runs thick through the group's songs -- close your eyes and let "Get Found" transport you to a very small room filled with a whole lot of rock and quite a bit of heart to boot.
Prepare to un-ironically air guitar with the best of them tonight at Glasslands Gallery.