A Night of Intelligence
Despite missing the usual drummer of the band, Party Bat swooped in to open up the night. The bass player took over the drums and the frustration from the lineup switch seemed to propel the party through the usual sounds of heavy riffs and crashing drums. Party Bat is like having Halloween all year long but the band brings on the especially-good times during October with seasonally appropriate songs like ‘Halloweiner‘ and ‘Gravestoners’. The leader Party Bat, donning his guitar and skull mask, finished the set by throwing a box of cold pizza into the crowd, saying, “Thanks for putting up with us,” and left the crowd laughing, raising glasses, and eating slices.
Up next came Coffin Pricks with a revival of straightforward punk rock sounds. The four piece is fronted by a burly and dramatic singer with only a mic as his instrument, leaving him to pace onstage, jump around, and give a solid performance without the antics. While Party Bat arrives to bring the fun with surf influenced garage sounds, Coffin Pricks holds a more severe, no-nonsense sort of show hinting at hardcore influences, yet both bands have similar rock and roll rawness in the actual songs and can each hold their own when it comes to stage presence.
Hailing from the West Coast and led by Lars Finberg (of Thee Oh Sees and A Frames), the Intelligence headlined the evening, playing tracks mostly from the latest LP Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me, and from the second most recent full-length Males with songs like ‘Bong Life’, ‘Tuned To Puke’, and ‘Like Like Like Like Like Like Like’. The band embodied the balance of the night’s sounds, with artistic eccentricities that entertained and the venomous sting of punk and garage music. There was enough bite to keep the post-punk vibe intact but also plenty of hooks to carry the foot-stomping and head-bobbing throughout the room. And the keyboards were set on top of walkers, rather than music stands. That, along with the experimentation of sounds onstage, insisted one keep eyes on the band at all times, because one could never be sure what might be seen or heard next. The crowd was left mesmerized and chanting “One more song!” when the set was finished, but the Intelligence waved and sent out a “Thank you” as the music still seemed to vibrate in the air.
The Intelligence will be continuing on to a fall tour with King Tuff throughout North America.