Tysk Tysk Task (Photo by Ken Sears)
I wasn't expecting to write about this show. It was a free outdoor show at a skate park with a bunch of newer bands I had never heard of. I went to get my Tysk Tysk Task fix and check out a band or two before heading over to the House of Blues to see The Circle Jerks. It turns out I had much more fun at this show and stayed much longer than I expected to. (Apologies to the bands that played that I missed!) Sometimes a little punk show under a highway overpass is more fun than a giant one in a corporate chain club.
The first band I saw was Tysk Tysk Task. I'm always amazed at how much they've changed their sound as a duo with Samantha Hartsel and Danni Gannon while still keeping what made me first love their music intact. An outdoor show powered by a gas generator is going to have some sound issues, but the extra fuzz fit Tysk Tysk Task perfectly. Their "woodland slumber grunge" was especially perfect outdoors, and they still played with the same intensity they do on their club shows. Their most recent single "Colors" is always a highlight (that line "Now we're just two people who don't know who we are anymore" always gets me), but their upcoming single "Rose Gold" is quickly becoming a new favorite.
Kayla Blackburn was up next providing the most laid back set I saw Saturday night. She played a set of soul inspired folk on electric guitar. Following up the intensity and volume of Tysk Tysk Task with such a quiet style of music should be tough, but Blackburn was mesmerizing. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but she just has this certain quality that is just captivating. Even the loudest punks quieted down so they could pay attention to her. Expect her to start popping up opening for your favorite Americana acts around town before headlining her own sets in the very near future.
Philadelphia's The Crawlies made their Boston debut next. The three piece played a high energy set of noisy garage punk. Using an old timey sounding microphone and a dial up phone receiver for vocals, they sounded like Bloodshot Bill mixing with the unhinged side of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, but less blues and more punk. Their music did not let up for even a minute. It was just fast and loud followed by more fast and loud in the best possible way. As much as I love outdoor shows in non-traditional venues, The Crawlies are the kind of band that needs to be seen in a basement or a dive bar. Hopefully they make their way up here again soon for the full experience.
The last band I saw was Dilemma Rose n' the Wailin' Milfs, who may have been making their live debut. The five piece band made up of a singer, two bass players, a synth, and drums played this absolutely insane set that mixed punk, metal, and New Wave. Songs would go from the most bubbly, sugar coated pop sound into this insane screaming metal and back again at a whiplash pace. It was seriously great. They played the heaviest song about recycling that you've ever heard and a cover of Talking Heads "Psycho Killer" that nearly completely reworked the original. Dilemma Rose n' the Wailin' Milfs are like if Yeah Yeah Yeahs' first album, but heavier.