Friday, June 20, 2008

The Pity Party and Mezzanine Owls at Alex's Bar

I try to cover as many venues as humanly possible but was still astounded that I haven't had a chance to review a show at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. Alex's Bar is a tad larger then the cozy Prospector but with its own distinct vibe. Both institutions serve the Long Beach community well and tirelessly support the local scene. It was apparently chaotic at Alex's a few weeks ago when some band played a secret show.

Coco B's

Coco B's have been on my radar and I walked in to Alex's just as they were starting their set. I immediately detected some influences of Archers of Loaf and Pavement in their jangle driven indie rock. Upon further investigation, Coco B's run a nice little blog on their site that highlighted The Helio Sequence, No Age and New Order so I gave them extra points for good taste. The Coco B's also released a split cd with the snowy Eskimohunter on Grand Theft Autumn Records which is a label run by the gentlemen of Hey Mercedes who used to be in Braid. I unfortunately didn't catch any song titles but was intrigued enough that I will catch a future show.

The Pity Party

Fresh from storming the U.K. and appearing in NME was The Pity Party. I caught them prior to their departure to the U.K. and could sense they were ready to conquer the British. The Pity Party was ginsu sharp as they sliced through a tight set. M (Guitars/Vocals) has dissassembled his massive Ground Control Pro system to a handful of pedals. His mastery of the Rocket was evident throughout the night as he frequently added some extra fuzz sauce to their spicy songs. "H.O.T.S" was performed at a feverish pace and Heisenflei (Drums) was drumming up a tornado. The Pity Party will be playing a show at the Echo Curio on July 3rd with Chase Frank to support Ronald Dzerigian who provides all the bizarre artwork for their EP "Orgy Porgy". I heard whispers of a return to the U.K. but I hope I will have a full length album in my hands before they leave.

The Secret 6

The Secret 6 played a hometown show celebrating the release of their full length album Close Enemies. It has been a while since I last caught up with The Secret 6 when I saw them open for Eskimohunter at Spaceland. James Thompson (Vocals/Guitars) still had his trusty Fender Stratocaster howling through his Orange halfstack as they tackled a few numbers from their new album. I didn't see the Nord Lead in their setup but saw a Roland keyboard in its place. I imagine they will tour more locally to support their album's release.

Mezzanine Owls

After a successful Spaceland residency, the Mezzanine Owls had the good fortune of opening for Swervedriver at the Fillmore. I still frequently listen to their Jaxart 7 inch EP release which I highly recommend your purchase here. "Drift" opened the festivities as the Mezzanine Owls showcased their tight sound and dream fuzz guitars. Jonathan Zetlin (Guitars) has morphed his sound from what I described in prior reviews as a "twilight sparkle" into a newly coined "twilight supernova" as he has added a few secret pedal weapons to his overall sound. Dan Horne (Bass) was holding down the low end and did the requisite beer chug during the breakdown of one of their songs. I was really impressed with the two new songs they played on this night as I remembered hearing them at Spaceland during their residency. The Mezzanine Owls don't have any scheduled upcoming shows so I hope they are working on a new album.

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