Friday, February 20, 2009

Four new bands + one new venue = a great night in East Atlanta

Four of Atlanta's newest punk bands, including a debuting act, performed Thursday at 529 in East Atlanta.

While each of the bands that performed Thursday featured familiar faces from the previous wave of Atlanta bands (The Heart Attacks, Carbonas, Beat Beat Beat, etc.), they still bring new sounds and new life to the local scene.

Up first was the debut of The Stolen Hearts, a mostly all-girl outfit mixing punk and powerpop influences.

Ashley, Rachel and Michelle did great considering it was the first time each girl had performed live, as they performed five songs, including the three posted on their Myspace page. The group also features two of the before-mentioned familiar faces in Adrian from Gentleman Jesse and His Men and Greg King from The Carbonas.

This band will, for better or worse, draw lots of comparisons to fellow Douchemaster Records band The Baby Shakes since most consumers are unoriginal when it comes to labeling female-fronted bands.

To hear a few tracks and keep up with upcoming shows, check out www.myspace.com/stolenheartsatlanta.

On second was The Customers, who were only playing their third gig ever. The band draws deserved comparisons to The Replacements, and they have steadily improved since their Jan. 24 debut.

The Customers are also a group of musicians with recognizable faces and names, as they feature Stephen from Beat Beat Beat on vocals and guitar, Chris from The Carbonas on bass and Brad from The Heart Attacks on drums. The fourth member, Travis, is the younger brother of Tuk from The Heart Attacks and Poison Arrows.

Predator, featuring Brannon and Mike from Beat Beat Beat and Frantic, were the closest thing on the bill to a veteran act, as they have been around since last summer.

Their growing repertoire is made up of catchy songs that sound a lot heavier than Frantic, a group that also featured King on drums. Like Frantic, Predator will soon have a locally-released LP that will likely get heavy play from DJs and fans alike.

The show closed with Poison Arrows, a powerpop quartet who had their first single released last week by Chicago's Full Breach Kicks Records.

Poison Arrows, who debuted last October, sounded as sharp as ever Thursday. Both live and on record, the band brings the perfect mix of early rock and roll and Exploding Hearts style powerpop. They also bust out covers by two very different groups: "I've Got Your Number" by Cock Sparrer and "The American Ruse" by the MC5.

Like the other bands on the bill, Poison Arrows bring some familiar faces to the stage, as Portwood and Tuk were in The Heart Attacks and Joey was in Vengance 77.

Catch this band while you can, as Poison Arrows are already preparing for tours with the likes of The Cute Lepers, The Queers and Eddie and the Hot Rods.

Afterwards, most of the crowd at 529 (pronounced five-two-nine) hung around to hear DJs Lindsay and Chad Radford spin records by bands ranging from The Buzzcocks to Bobby Soxx.

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