It was Labor day for everyone on Monday, except for me. After a day at work, I decided to enjoy a free show with free parking and most importantly excellent air conditioning at the Viper Room. It was another Check One..Two Indie 103.1 night curated by Mr. Shovel. This night was another solid line up featuring The Minor Canon, Satisfaction, and The Prix.
The Prix were up first up with their organ infused power garage pop rock. Cashew Von Harding (Guitars/Vocals) was a ball of energy on stage abusing his Rickenbacker guitar backed by Blake Jordan's catchy organ lines from his Roland VK-3. The Prix have garnered some buzz lately with airplay on some of the local radio stations. Their sound has elements of Wolfmother, The Hold Steady, and The Strokes but with a more concise pop flavor. Check out their EP "St.Domino" on itunes.
Satisfaction had many of the ladies in front batting their eyelashes as they unleashed their sugary pop songs on the audience. I have mentioned Satisfaction before, but never got a chance to give them a full review. Satisfaction rose from the ashes of the band Smile who put out one of my favorite records of the '90s entitled Maquee. It was a sonic buzzsaw of fuzz with catchy songs and heavy bass. KROQ used to play the Smile tune "Staring At the Sun" all the time back in the day.
Satisfaction rocks more with a vibe of the Kinks crossed with Archers of Loaf. Michael Rosas (Guitars/Vocals) uses the lyrics as a canvas and the paint is added by the guitars,bass, and drums with finishing touches added by Matthew Fletcher (Keyboards) and his stack of Nord keyboards. It also marks the second time in a few weeks that I caught James Fletcher (Drums) behind the drum kit. I picked up their self released cd "Cougars,Sharks & Flying Sparks" and couldn't be more pleased. I would add them to the list of bands that should be signed.
The Minor Canon
The Minor Canon finished out the night with their lush orchestral indie rock. I was glad to catch a full set by them and was dully impressed. With six people on stage, it was a challenge to track everyone and their contributions to the collective sound. The amazing thing is that even though there is a lot of music coming from the stage, Paul Larson's (Guitar/Vocals) voice still cuts through the mix. I think it has to do with how well the songs are arranged. "It Never Was" is a good showcase of this phenomena as a quiet piano line starts with additional trumpet by Mario Frias and trombone by Mike Richardson seeping into the right places during the song. Ryan Blake (Keyboards) had a Korg CX-3 stacked on top of his Yamaha keyboard mixing up the keyboard sounds all night. The Minor Canon are a band you need to see live to fully appreciate their sound. Check them out on Sept 21st at the Troubadour with the Besnard Lakes and pick up their cd "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished".