Beach Fossils/Woven Bones/The Beets
Thursday, July 1
You get to like it, the rudimentary BOOM-BOOM-THWACK, BOOM-BOOM-THWACK of a two-piece stand-up drummer — no flash, no cymbals, no particular variety — especially when that’s all you know. All three bands tonight at this fuzz-garage spectacular use such a setup; only one ends their set by attempting to physically destroy the drums in question.
Austin’s Woven Bones favor cheerful, forceful blasts of tuneful distortion, bass-driven and propulsive, recalling the Jesus and Mary Chain at their (rare) slowest and politely conjuring an air of droning mystery: The first lyrics I make out, very very late in the set, are “I don’t give a fuck.” Splendid. Brooklyn’s very own Beach Fossils, by contrast, seem to give a fuck, jangling like mad, R.E.M.-style,, with bouncy bass and intertwined chiming guitars and the not-doing-much-of-anything-at-all-but-it’s-still-very-important warbles of frontman Dustin Payseur. It’s all very Real Estate, naturally, just a touch less… suburban.
As their set progresses and the melodies get a little brighter and pointier, the dudes start bouncing around the stage, bumping into each other as though they’re playing on a very tightly wound trampoline that slowly gets…bouncier. Eventually it looks like they’re dancing in a John Hughes movie. And at the set’s dramatic conclusion, during a tune not necessarily more or less jangly and dramatic than any of the others, everyone freaks out — Payseur crashes into the crowd, while the particularly animated bassist, playing barefoot for some reason (“Put on some shoes, dude, or you’re gonna get trichinosis,” someone shouts), without warning jumps up on his amp and launches himself into the drums in question, Kurt Cobain-style, pretty much flattening them and possibly seriously injuring himself. Show over. Though a vaguely cathartic and rock ‘n’ roll moment, the drummer does not look particularly pleased, understandably. I’m glad I didn’t have to ride in the van back home with these guys.
I tried to spend the Beets’ entire set playing Pac-Man, but I ran out of guys.