Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, December 11, 2015

Garbage Brain, Darkwing and Sharkmuffin at The Gateway

Rock shows are interesting to me, especially since I spend so much time at metal shows, their twisted fuck up of a cousin. That being said - rock shows are fucked up in their own wonderful way, especially at a unique spot like The Gateway, a venue that perfectly blends DIY culture with the beauty of the New York scene. There was something beautifully hedonistic about the evening, a Bernie Sanders Rally, with women randomly taking shirts off, dudes doing shots at the bar,, and the university culture that seemed to define the 80s coming back in full force in defense of a self proclaimed socialist from Vermont.

First up was Garbage Brain, a sort of psychedelic rock and roll band who make music that felt simply timeless. Their stripped back brand of garage punk was notable because it spoke to a simpler reality and a more beautiful time, there is something strangely about a Garbage Brain live set, with their drummer providing backup vocals and their crunchy riffs storming through the mix. This is the kind of band who seem to thrive on intellectual gatherings that let kids feel the potent rebellion in their veins. There is something important to what Garbage Brain do, it speaks to the human condition in a sort of abstract way and reminds us where we came from.

Darkwing were up next playing their distinctive brand of what they call 'surf grunge'. With a special emphasis on "Ooo, Ooo's" Darkwing are a fun band to watch, muddy riffs coming face to face with flashy solos and pummeling drums. There is a wonderful inherent darkness to what Darkwing do that seems to stem from the idea of the tortured artist, it's clear that the band is very much a vehicle for the frontman, Rich, but there's nothing wrong with that - in fact it only serves to help evidence the purity of his intentions. This is a band who are simply fun to watch and aware of the power and glory their music can provide.

The last band I saw that evening was Sharkmuffin who were a fun but dark all-girl punk trio. There is something strangely appealing about the band and the way they represent the torture of humanity and yet couch it in a wonderfully hopeful sense of rock and roll magic. Sharkmuffin are a sort of existential experience, fazed out and weird but also a lot of fun to listen to. Sharkmuffin rapidly established a distinctive sound and used it to define the rest of their set, making for some exciting listening that allowed for a sort of spiritual communion between band and audience. Sharkmuffin understand the potency of the live experience and they are masters because of it.

And so the night came to an end - friends were made, even if they were the type of people you might only meet once, and bands watched and perhaps ore importantly money raised for the man who might be our only salvation. Then again - as these bands evidenced, rock and roll might be our salvation, we might not need a balding socialist from Vermont. But does it really matter? Rock and roll is rock and roll and any show at the Gateway is decidedly a good time, so perhaps we should be happy with that and the hipstery madness that cleanses our souls.

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Garbage Brain:



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