Free Week Live Shots
Pale Dian, Super Thief, Borzoi, We’ll Go Machete, Honey & Salt
Sidewinder, Jan. 4
Midweek's cacophonous local sounds on Sidewinder's inside stage owed debts to Nineties noisemakers found on the Trance Syndicate, Amphetamine Reptile, and Homestead labels. Trio Honey & Salt began with a set of off-kilter indie clangor summoning early math rockers. Wade Allen's skilled, jazzy axe work complemented the rhythm section's nimble tempo changes, but his boyish vocals got lost in the jam.
Similarly inclined to time shifts, power trio We'll Go Machete mutated classic rock riffery into a sheet metal grind, bearing down like a carpenter on a stubborn nail. Guitarist Paul Warner's high-pitched shout became monochromatic, but the vocals weren't the point. Rocking the hell out was.
Threesome Borzoi twisted the template to their own purposes. Fewer tempo alterations, jagged and repetitious riffs, and serious attitude locked their lips into a permanent sneer. Zach Wood's forceful sing-speak first felt out of place, but the band's aggressive attack pushed it into the background.
Super Thief altered the formula with an extra member, but ratcheted up the noise rocking power. Ragged vocals, like the frightened shout of a child chased into the closet, fed clashing chords and Keith Moon drum bash. The intensity rose until the final number's punky chaos ended in a short blast of scree.
The addition of shoegazers Pale Dian, moved from the outside stage to the inside closing spot, knocked the through-line askew. Happily, the trio's drum-programming-enhanced pop was soothing after the run of furiously rocking noiseniks preceding them.