The Nuclears at Bowery Electric
I could have sworn that The Nuclears had one lead singer last time I saw them. This may be a permanent lineup change, I don't know and it doesn't really matter. Even if the lineup is new they still play the same ballsy hard rock mixed with the occasional bluesy number and they do it really well. And look at this, a bunch of guys actually having fun on stage! It's nice to see that once in a while.
Chain And The Gang at Bowery Electric
So who wants their rock with a side of philosophy? Or perhaps it's the other way around?
Lead singer Ian Svenonius sings about the big issues. He also talks about them before, after and during the songs. He's half punk singer, half beat poet, backed by a five-piece band with two drummers.
It is hard not to call Chain And The Gang "punk", and at times they sure sound like a punk band, but most of the time their sound is closer to jazz and funk. I assume they're adapting their sound to the needs of the message. They are explicitly trying to be thought-provoking, so it's safe to assume that the message comes first.
Wojcik at Bowery Electric
If I recall correctly the last time I saw Wojcik they were a two piece and the drummer was a fellow. That is to say that a different, male person was the drummer last time. The core of the band is lead singer and guitarist Hailey Wojcik who seems to be backed by a revolving crew.
Now the problem with having a revolving crew is that any given lineup hasn't practiced together so much. The first show with a particular lineup is a little like the first show by a new band. This was the first Wojcik show with this new lineup. While songs like Spidersilk and Wise Blood were solid enough to show what the band is capable of, a couple of other songs were awfully messy. They just didn't sound like a band which had been around for a couple of years. Because of course they haven't been.
Wojcik have plenty of heavy songs which sound like 70s hard rock, or perhaps like Kyuss and its descendents. Other songs are more atmospheric or even experimental. It is kind of hard to believe that the same band recorded "The Magician" (a typical Wojcik song) and "Phantom of the Lake". The latter sounds is the sort of minimalist number which a darkwave artist (The Black Heart Procession?) might put at the end of an album. They have incorporated field recordings into some of their songs, in the intros if nothing else, which is not exactly common among hard rock bands. Perhaps the band is still trying out new musical identities? That might explain the lineup changes too. At the very least they aren't "just" a hard rock band even if Hailey Wojcik does thrash away on her guitar every now and then.
Mindtroll at Bowery Electric
Mindtroll are a strange, strange band. They remind me a lot of the B-52s or perhaps Quintron and Miss Pussycat (also strange, strange bands) but Mindtroll are somehow even more silly than those other bands. Wow, that takes effort.
Based on the outfits and banter between songs I'd say that Mindtroll are aiming for silly. The hard part is making good music. I have to say thaty for the most part they succeeded. Some of their songs are just ridiculously catchy. It is one day after the show and I still have some of the most absurd nonsense stuck in my head like "I'm a fancy boy, I shop at Williams-Sonoma!"
I had to Google Williams-Sonoma after hearing that song. Apparently they really do sell cookware. I honestly never knew that, or cared... until now.
Nihilistics at Bowery Electric
Here we have a example of a rare beast: an 80s punk band which never hit it big but never quite went away either. They just sort of get together every now and then to fuck around on stage, expose the audience to intentional "wardrobe malfunctions" (no photos), and grind out some nasty punk rock songs. Sure, why not?
Hammered Satin at Bowery Electric
At first glance I thought that the lead singer of Hammered Satin looked like Iggy Pop. Upon examining the photos I now think he looks more like Rod Stewart. His friends call himself Roddy Pop (and he has not forgiven them). Anyhoo, if you want to see a band which knows how to party like it's 1973, here ya' go.