Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Railway Club isn't the most relaxing place to be on a Saturday night, but I toughed it out last weekend in order to catch some hard-rocking bands. I went solo, but ran into some of the usual suspects at the club—the alliterative quartet of SR Jones, Sim, Snappy, and Shockk.

Victoria's Crown the Wolf were on first, with a set of solid songs in the Kyuss vein. Hey, who wouldn't want to sound like Kyuss? The singer/guitarist had a great voice for this style. Nice job!

Black Betty is a band I've wanted to see for ages; ever since I came across them at and checked out their tunes at MySpace. Jonas and Ana's pummelling set—mixing the weighty riffs of Sabbath with the good times vibe of, say, Grand Funk—didn't disappoint at all.

The only letdown was that there was no merch to be found; I need their album. I don't do enough local bands for Unrestrained! (Antiquus and SYL/Devin Townsend have been the only Vancouver-area acts I've covered, I think), so I have to get in touch with them at some point.

Mongoose were on next (Sprëad Eagle headlined the night, but I had to hit the Skytrain before they went on). These guys have logged a million kilometres in the van since I last saw them, and their music's progressed way beyond the catchy punk bursts found on White Plastic Deer. Although they've gotten a lot more "rock & roll" and added a lot more diversions and complexity to their material, they still exude an all-ages basement show energy that's a joy to witness. This lineup—stalwarts Shockk, RC, Johnny, and new drummer Radar—is their strongest yet, and I hope they get a chance to record a followup album really soon.

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