Monday, July 21, 2008

Albert Hammond Jr. at Spaceland

Como Te Llama? is the new album by Albert Hammond Jr. that completely caught me off guard. I loved Albert's first album Yours To Keep and was surprised that he released another album so quickly. I caught Albert twice on his last tour at the Troubadour and House of Blues Sunset. The line wrapping around Spaceland confirmed I wasn't the only person who was eager to check out Albert playing some new tunes from his new album.

The Shys

It has been a little while since I caught up with The Shys. They played the San Diego Street Scene show a few years ago and played a solid set. The Shys are gearing up to release their new album You Will Never Understand This Band The Way That I Do. The Shys have stylistically shifted their look and sound to a bluesy Americana rock sound in the vein of The Walkmen. Kyle Krone (Guitars/Vocals) had a slick Fender Jazzmaster dialed in with a lot of overdrive and dirt. "The Hangman" was a new tune that had plenty of bite with knife-sharpened guitars. Chris Wulff (Guitars) had an Epiphone Guitar with a MXR Micro amp to boost his solos as he added some flash to the tunes. "Savior" had a rocking drunken ragtime feel to the tune as a shot of whiskey should be imbibed while listening to the song. "Call In The Calvary" from their prior album Astoria sparked my memory quickly with its hard driving kick drum and slashing guitars. The Shys will be at the Troubadour on July 29 for a record release party.

The Parlor Mob

A Rickenbacker Bass, Orange Amplifier, sludgy guitar riffs heavily influenced by Black Sabbath with a dab of Pink Floyd make up the musical composite of New Jersey rockers The Parlor Mob. Mark Melicia (Vocals) had a vocal range close to Ronnie James Dio and Ozzy Osbourne that blended perfectly with their bottom heavy riffs. I wasn't surprised to see them on metal powerhouse Roadrunner records. While comparisons to Wolfmother will likely haunt them, I enjoyed the fact they had two fleet fingered guitarists who would solo together at various points. The Parlor Mob is touring behind their album And You Were A Crow. If you check out their Myspace page, they have some awesome videos giving you a tour of their gear setup. I was checking out David Rosen's setup (Guitars) that was rich in Electro Harmonix pedals blaring through his Ibanez Jetking.

Albert Hammond Jr.

An Olympic White Stratocaster was perched in a guitar stand in front of a Fender Deville amplifier, as the crowd grew anxious for the appearance of Albert Hammond Jr. The stuttering drumbeat of "101" backed by the needling guitar lines was the perfect way to kick off the evening. The tremolo guitar picking of "G Up" proved to be disorienting to your equilibrium as Albert nailed the song precisely. The ping-pong match of old and new songs continued as the propulsive bass line of "In Transit" blared over the Spaceland speakers. I forgot how much I enjoyed Albert's first album and how impressive Albert's live show was. I wasn't too familiar with the new songs but they easily worked their way into the setlist.

"Bright Young Thing" had Marc Eskenazi (Guitars/Keyboards) pounding on the keys for the bouncing piano riff before switching the patch to a lush organ. I quickly realized I was singing along to the tune. Albert had a few Jekyll and Hyde overdrive/distortion pedals at his feet while holding his trademark Olympic White Stratocaster. "GfC" was significantly heavier with the opening guitars being doused in overdrive. They launched into heavy vocal harmonies for the intro to "Rocket" as Matt Ramano (Drums) performed an impressive marching band beat behind the song. Spaceland was absolutely packed and space was a premium as few people had room to move let alone dance.

Things got funky as the slithery beat of "Victory at Monterrey" couldn't help but make you dance. Albert has succeeded in making an album that is different from his debut but still characteristically sounds like Albert Hammond Jr. "Holiday" and "Everyone Gets A Star" knocked off a few more tunes from his debut album. Albert wound down his set with "Borrowed Time", "Lisa", "In My Room" and "Feed Me Jack" for a set that clocked in just shy of sixty minutes. Albert Hammond Jr. is currently touring in Australia and looks to swing back through the states to promote the album. I just hope I get to hear the Strokes next album prior to Albert releasing his third solo album.

1 comment:

Mel said...

Albert Hammond Jr. has become one of those artists that I will always go see when in town because you are guaranteed a great performance. Hoping he comes around again in a bigger venue - that place was just TOO packed!