The Pour House, Raleigh
May 9, 2009
Instead of my DNA ingrained route through the Glenwood South gauntlet I opted for a new and unproven route to The Pour House last Saturday night. My route varied with a left on Peace Street, down a couple of blocks and took a right, got somewhat lost and then took a left when it felt right and bam, popped out right next to it, which more calculatingly was actually three blocks away but I found a sweet parking spot and it was an insanely gorgeous night for a walk so I slammed the shifter into park and took off on foot to complete the journey.
Entering the dark, dark ally leading to The Pour House front door I heard someone from behind me say my name. Fully intending to get arrested again, I was both relieved and elated to turn around and see Stu McLamb who was canvassing the premises looking for his drummer Tom. Seeing an opportunity I offered to get on the sticks for their set should Tom disappear AND WE BOTH HAD A CHUCKLE. See how you read it louder in your head if I type in caps? My friends showed up shortly there after and during the hustling and bustling energy of a pre-show party we entertained ourselves with witty remarks and by chatting up The Love Language band members and band member's girl friends.
A couple of beers later, opening act Gross Ghost did a three second long sound check and then began to rip and tear. As the first few bars of their high gain opener verved up the room I addressed my friends at the back of the room, "that's pretty good." Unsheathing my camera we moved up to the stage to get a closer listen, something was to be witnessed there. Gross Ghost front man Mike Dillon, champion of recent great Spader (PS look for Spader dates this summer, apparently the pieces have re-collected themselves) was bringing a substantial presence to the stage. Having never heard these guys before recorded or live, my "genre" and "sounds-like" stereotyping mechanisms were off line and I had to revert to manual listening and rapid fire picture taking. Surprisingly British sounding, unmistakably garage and fleetingly melodic, Gross Ghost is the missing link between punk and indie. Dillon's heavy raspish voice flies long and longingly just above the cloud ceiling of an electric storm fueled by a stomp-boxed bass, snarling Danelectro six string and a thundering back-to-basics drum set complete with a kick, snare, AND a floor tom. Chatting with Dillon after the show I learned that Saturday was only the bands fourth show and I do believe they are on to something here.
Whatever Brains picked up the middle slot on the set list and pulled the crowd to the stage like a tractor beam. I stepped back to the bar for a refill and somehow didn't make my way back to my same spot but it was kind of What Ever Brains to turn the amps up to 11 to make sure I could still hear it. Indeed there is a sonic achievement in two electric guitars both grinding the same chords as opposed to the overly typical lead/rhythm arrangements.
Personal diary entry 462, day 782 re; The Love Language. Note: If it shakes, they are shaking it. The Love Language took the stage last and made good use of the energy created by the openers by channeling it through tambourines, maracas, and various other shaky things to create the signature sleigh bell chatter which glues the seven piece shake rattle and roll group together. When a style is this unique and the resulting sound is this wonderful, genres are born. Among the songs the crowd knows by heart, we are hearing glimpses of what I believe will surpass their current self titled album in numbers of souls captivated and glory in the public eye. “Brittany's Back” and “Blue Angel” alone are my two most mentally replayed Love Language songs and neither have been recorded outside bootleg-ville. If these lend a suggestion for how important the next album will be, the work that is being done right now is just building blocks. The band with the hammers, the fans with the nails, and the venues with the lumber, a stage is being constructed that the world will look upon very soon. Its exciting times to be a Love Language fan.
Visit their myspace profiles;
The Love Language:
Love Language Frontman Stu McLamb on MyNC's "Sessions At Studio B"
More Images from Saturday Night:
The Love Language
Kate and Josh
fans in the stands
left, Justin Williams of the superb Twelve Thousand Armies whom you will be hearing from shortly as they are now Carrboro residents, top right is Mike Dillon of Gross Ghost and Spader.