While most local show goers were celebrating the life and times of Bobby Ubangi Wednesday at The Drunken Unicorn, a small handful witnessed a six-band bill at Lenny's.
Hotel Parallel, which is John and Kasey from Hip to Death performing as a post-psychedelic two-piece, opened. It was their first show, and they went all out, surrounding themselves by televisions which all showed static except for one that showed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Musically, it was part experimental, part psychedelic, and part grunge. John belted out the lyrics and Kasey played tambourine along with pre-taped music and samples (played off a CD that skipped a time or two). Overall, it was very different yet rewarding.
Two bands who were somehow booked separately by the venue played along with four of the advertised bands. One of those bands, The Red Cliche, musically depict what the term "pop-punk" started to mean about 10 years ago. That is to say, their drivel sounded more like New Found Glory than something cool like The Queers or The Vandals 2.0. At least when their music is featured on The Hills the other bands on the bill can gloat about playing with them when they were unknown.
The Trashcans commandeered the stage next and played a short but sweet set of garage punk. It's a shame more people did not hear them, as four shows in they are almost on par with The Barberries, who only one summer ago put out a good single and went on to host rowdy house shows.
The Liar Birds from Minneapolis were the second unadvertised band, and they were worlds better than The Red Cliche. They played a similar style, but it was louder, faster, and, based on their CD, more creative. They won't make you want to listen to modern pop-punk, but they still make a suitable second or third band on the bill.
This strange brew of a show was salvaged next, as The North Trolls put on an awesome set. They are a much better mix of pop and punk than anything else on the bill, and they are very southern (and not in a lame cowboy hat and belt buckle way). They closed with "When I Get Home," which their Myspace page serves up as a small taste of awesomeness. Here's hoping they get to play to a larger Atlanta audience soon, so you all can join in my excitement for their upcoming split 7" with Wrister.
Closing was Skank Juice, a group of youngsters who play no frills (or trumpets) ska. They, too, deserve a larger local audience for their Choking Victim covers and clever originals, as they are talented musicians and Amanda, their lead singer, has a great voice once she cuts loose and overcomes her stage fright. If she got a few pointers from Jessica Juggz and both Mika Miko lead singers, she'd almost be on their level as performers. She can already match them as a vocalist.