So it’s a sweaty Tuesday night and we dropped the kids off 10 minutes ago and now I’m getting all agro in Holland Tunnel traffic. People are pissing me off and most of all, “All I wanted was a Pepsi but she wouldn’t give it to me.” I’m in that my-way-is-the-right-way type of space and my wife is laughing as I yell at each person who does something stupid in their brand new BMW. Then she throws the “you do that” as I criticize some puke in a powerblue Volkswagen. But I throw it right back at her with the long ball “But I’m an ex-athlete,” and we both start laughing, which is better than crying since my pickup doesn’t have air conditioning and we’re about to sweat balls going through the tunnel. Next up is the lost-in-Brooklyn routine which this Joisey boy really excels at, but I won’t bore you with that. Needless to say, what we both needed was a couple of beers, San Loco and some white noise. And after burritos and beer, we walked into Union Pool just as the bands were about to start
Up first was the dynamic duo of Angst/Metal/Punk/WhateverYouWannaLabel us Austerity Program. It was like being thrown back to CB’s 15 years ago and listening to Unsane launch body bombs, only Austerity’s drummer wasn’t throwing off the timing since he was a little bitty casio on crack or some other synth superstar machine. Usually this is where I rant about the Moog Muthafudgers and their lack of musicality, but in Austerity’s case it actually worked. And damned straight if it wasn’t the two beers or the wall to wall scumbags but I actually was digging their noisecore (there, you knew I couldn’t resist). On the plus side this was a record release for their new single and I’ll be damned if half the audience didn’t show up to see them rip the she-ite outta the back room. At one point the sonics were so solid I felt my legs vibrating through my new Sean John’s. Google these knuckleheads, you won’t be disappointed.
Next up was one of the reasons for our old azzes to bust outta Bloomfield and traverse the Tuesday traffic. Dianogah are one of the few bands that Susan and I actually both agree need to be known by the general populace. They’re angular math rock instrumentals are easily some of the best kick-back-and-sway-to-the-scenery sonic sonnets ever recorded. However, having busted a bass amp in Boston a couple nights back and having spent the afternoon in the studio may have sapped some of the strength out of the Chicago Algo-rhythm rockers. All in all, they were solid and some of the new songs made sense, but honestly they were at their best when both bassist’s were bruising their fingers at breakneck speeds.
“Who’s up next?” asked the metal chick who sits down in front of the stage while my wife is in the baño. When I reply, “Made Out Of Babies,” I’m met with “that’s why you’re here and that’s why I am here.” Right then, I realize that it’s a passionate group of followers that Miss Julie Christmas and crew have assembled on a Tuesday night under the BQE. After launching into their rabid set of maul rock, I now understand why. Xmas demands attention and her boy band backers batter you senseless with a synapse-snapping aural assault that is at times grounded by girly girl vocals which expand slowly and surely into banshee bliss.
Watching MOOB and especially Xmas pace the stage between songs is evidence of how much they own their music. Showcasing a vocal range and aural assault to outclass a gospel queen on acid dreams, Made Out of Babies brought me right back to my traffic jam five hours earlier and made me think if only I had their latest CD The Ruiner in the car, I wouldn’t have to bust out my ex-athlete driving prowess that I developed well over 20 years ago.