Montaz, Gus Baldwin & the Sketch, Bad Markings
Thirty seconds ago, I thought this was a speedy garage band slamming away in the great divide between Nuggets and Goner Fest as Gus Baldwin played wrist-cripplingly frantic barre chord progressions while discharging echoey, staccato shouts into Shure 57. Now, a liquid acid double guitar riff melts into a bass breakdown over which jangle-addict David Rawlinson – looking like teenage Kurt Cobain – delivers a spoken word dream synopsis then falls into a Iggy Pop backbend. A bouncy jam, spiked with Sixties organ, eventually settles into an homage of Santana’s “Oye Como Va.”
It’s the second hump-day of Gus Baldwin & the Sketch’s residency at Hotel Vegas and I’m blown away. The quintet of familiar faces, including Black Angels/Rotten Mangos multi-instrumentalist Ramiro Verdooren, has an impressive stockpile of material for a new project; a flair for fast, catchy, almost power-pop hooks lifted by bassist Lucas Martins’ oohs & aaahs; and a primo drummer in Trey Gutierrez from Cosmic Chaos. The SG wielding Baldwin, cut from spindly rockstar DNA, ringleads with punk energy.
GB&tS’s monthong residency concludes Wednesday with the cerebrum-scraping experimental songsters Bad Markings and wild-n-heavy bass and drums duo Montaz.– Kevin Curtin