"...that's a heavy fuckin' load on me..."
Hey, blogspot readers, it's back to school for SouthSide! Yes, it's that time of year again when the air smells like dusty chalkboards and students pounding the books of knowledge. However, after a hard first week of filling out forms and whatnot, this busy local reviewer was ready to rock the scene from all points this weekend whether it was Lakeview to Rogers Park ...and a few new places in between. Tonight, she returned "home" i.e. Elbo Room to check out her good friend, Sonic Pistol at their Through The Years CD release show.
This particular band, blogspot readers, SouthSide has watched over the years since meeting them at Cobra Lounge for a show that never happened. Returning to Elbo Room, the guys of Sonic Pistol brought their infamous hardcore guitar rock sound coupled with melodic falsetto yet emotionally dynamic vocals and more to an excited audience and fans. This quartet of guys, Kurt (the man with the emotions on vocals), Mark (electric guitar wizard), Gor (the hopping guy on bass) and Brian (the man in the back on drums), rocked the stage with one of their best performances to date. You could literally feel the energy (as well as the vein-popping emotions) flowing throughout their performance. The music and band popped with energetic momentum and excitement from beginning to end to which this reviewer had not seen them do before until now.
After opening with her favorite song, 9 Miles (also it's track 1 on the CD), Sonic blew everyone away other classic favorites but with a new rock vibe and sound like Cave, Disappear, Load and Redline. Yet what impressed this reviewer the most was the emotions felt and heard within the lyrics during these selection of songs and more. Kurt (front man of the band) is not afraid to show his emotions to the audience and didn't hold back on the angst and/or frustration felt by any man (or woman) when in a deep loving relationship that's going through tough times and trials. Definitely check out SouthSide's Sonic favorite, 9 Miles and listen closely to how he pleads with his love to walk those miles with him. It's almost like he's channeling Johnny Cash's Walk The Line while making that emotional plea. Or check out the ballads, Anything and Enduring (dedicated to his wife), where the heartfelt emotions poured into every ounce of words and music (especially during the chorus of Anything) amidst Sonic's fiery downtempo rhythm to match Kurt's dynamic vocal style. He definitely portrayed both songs as a man deeply in tuned to himself and his mortality ...that he's only human especially when facing a tough challenge.
And let's not forget band behind the man that rocked the Sonic set song after song with powerful riffs and chords to fuel as well as complement their leader's voice. It takes a good band to back up a front man like Kurt but it definitely took a solid hardcore guitar rock band to match the intensity of what this singer feels off the lyrics. For example, take Disappear, blogspot readers, and ignore that comment about the band being "old". The a bunch of "old" guys they rocked the stage with such exuberant momentum and energy that had Gor (on bass) hopping around like a mad bunny on steriods. Nothing could keep them down as they sucker-punched the audience with hard electrifying riffs (watch Mark on guitar ...he gets down on the bridge) and thundering bass-percussion combined. If you really want to feel every riff and percussion rhythm, then crank up Sonic's Load on the highest volume setting and get ready to have your face melted while matching Kurt's vocal powress (yeah, his veins were popping at the forehead too). There was plenty of energetic vibe and more bursting all over the song that even overshadowed Elbo Room's air conditioning unit when that primal animalistic scream shook the basement lounge towards the end.
Then there was one unique that's not usual at a Sonic Pistol show - a cover song. Kurt and the guys like to keep it real and original when it comes to their live shows. However since this was a special occasion, they covered a classic 90s hit by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Under The Bridge (another SouthSide favorite) but not completely copying the original composition ...just the music. This song is complex - there are riffs and percussion rhythms that change a momen's whim as well as vocals that require a choir and strong emotional feelings. Well, blogspot readers, Sonic accomplished that sans the choir aria for Kurt yet it was a very good take. Kurt captured the spirit and vibe of Anthony Kiedis on vocals but adding his own personal spin and vocal/emotion range to the lyrics while the rest of the band honed in on the music keeping that calming lull at the beginning and then explosively popping with that famous rock sound movement at the chorus towards the end. A complicated song about dealing with addiction and how it can take your life away.
SouthSide highly recommends checking out her friend, Sonic Pistol at their next live performance. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/sonicpistol.
Until next time, support your local scene,