Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, Casino El Camino day party, Friday 16
Casino El Camino day party, Friday 16 Is there a better punk rock band than the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs? Is there a better rock & roll band than the Cheetahs? Is there a better band, period? Maybe, but they ain't anywhere on the music industry radar. A conference favorite for the past several years, the L.A. quartet is a band that leaves it all onstage, and with the Cheetahs doing their usual detonation set at this day party on the patio of the Austin music community's favorite cantina several hours before their scheduled showcase at Emo's, one had to wonder if maybe they shouldn't pace themselves. Mind you, the four bright-eyed scruffers didn't seem to be drinking in excess, only rocking in excess. And what a beautiful thing it is when they do so. Debuting material from their brand new Triple X Records LP Waiting for the Death of My Generation, frontman Frank Meyer and the boys let it all hang out, and if you recognize their name as the Iggy Pop reference it is, that's about all you need to know about their music. That and the MC5, whose Wayne Kramer is a friend and frequent collaborator. "Incendiary" is a word overused in the rock critic lexicon, and yet it was invented for just such a band, and as they tore through the first four tracks from the new album, one couldn't help but be glad the band was playing just in front of the Casino's little fountain; if anyone caught fire, well, the answer was right in front of them. When Meyer, and later bassist Jeff Watson, got on the edge of said fountain to hold their guitars high in the rock & roll salute, one had to be a little worried about them falling in and electrocuting themselves, but clearly this was the last thing on the band's mind. One gets the sense all they care about is the white fury behind their eyes when they're going for broke. While the no-holds-barred Waiting for the Death of My Generation finds the Cheetahs fleshing out their sound a bit with exotic instrumentation (i.e. keyboards and horns), their 45-minute rock & roll bare-all was their usual no-frills, straight-ahead guitar, bass, and bombast. The kind that brings that same white fury to headbangers' glazed smiles. Speaking of headbangers, former Dangerous Toys frontman Jason McMaster was on hand to do his best Bon Scott (check out his local band Broken Teeth) on a song of his that the Cheetahs cover, "Undertaker." For an encore, he then pulled out his best Bruce Dickinson as the band tortured Iron Maiden's "Sanctuary." At a show like the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, that's the last thing you'll find, but the first thing you'll want afterward.
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