Solid Gold 40 at Hole in the Wall, August 27

Live music reviews.

Solid Gold 40

Hole in the Wall, August 27

After amped-up sets by Those Peabodies and Antebellum, Solid Gold 40 took the stage well after midnight. By that time, both the band and those populating the venerable bar/restaurant/arcade were well-lubricated. "We've been gone a long time," mouthed the lead singer, dressed in glossy black stretch pants. "Now we're back." The perfect threads, really, considering painted-on-tight spandex pants helped define the falsetto-fueled, balls-to-the-wall cock-rock this local five-piece paid homage to and mocked simultaneously. Adding to the madcappery was Stinky, one of the group's two guitarists, who sported a sparkly gold vest and wig that made John McEnroe's early-Eighties hair look small. Opening with "Cry," a loosely open, bluesy jam, the band followed with the patently offensive "Rape You With My Love," and if the nearly full house of Metallica T-shirts, cowboy hats, and shaggy, bleached hair were put off, they sure didn't show it. Later came the party anthem "Sloppy Girls," which sounded like 1974 Bowie after a pallet of tallboys. This was exactly what the die-hards wanted; the sloppy melody got them on their feet dancing, waving flaming lighters, and brandishing the secret "devil" sign. A few tunes later, while ingesting suds from a pitcher, the wavering screamer frontman, more Rob Halford than Bruce Dickinson, delivered this intro: "The next song is about leather-wearing gay men in Germany." That's when Stinky shed his pants, revealing a fine grey skirt that completed the bearded-lady look and prompted at least one fellatio-inspired guitar solo act. Delivering slow numbers to a drinking crowd after 1am is either ballsy or dangerous, but the band's ratio of rockers to pokers tested the audience. In contrast, "Come to Me," about an hour into the set, was the best. The sonic wall emanating from the Hole's Elvis-bedecked stage was augmented with an oddly pleasing flanged guitar and deconstructed feedback outro. More importantly, the vocals were wild enough to energize, but not as detractingly messy as in other songs. Here, Solid Gold 40 unintentionally played both sides of the parody/self-mockery continuum. Like a late-night loft party, crude, but fun.

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