Civet, Continental, Plexikill, Fem (or Fam?)
The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I’ve a fan of Rick Barton’s from way back, and a massive fan of Everybody Out. So when I heard EBO split I was pretty bummed out. About a year back Bart had posted some demo tracks from his new band, Continental. Unfortunately, I was too scared to listen to this stuff. Let me clarify this, not scared, scared, but more worried that after loving Everybody Out, what if this didn’t measure up? Because this time Rick Barton sang, played electric and acoustic guitar, and wrote the material. What if, after juggling all these tasks, I didn’t like it?!
Continental hit Los Angeles, about, six to nine months ago, opening for Street Dogs (whose last album was co-produced by Barton). I can’t remember why, but I wasn’t able to make these shows.
Fast forward six to nine months, and Continental have two tours going, a solo tour, and a tour with Hellcat Records artist Civet. Rick Barton had posted a little one or two sentence shout out about the tour, and the need for publicity. So, I told him I could knock out a couple of flyers for him. I got the dates from his Son Steven (the band’s bass player), and I noticed a show here in L.A. So, I had to go.
For a while the band offered their new EP, Death of A Garage Band, free on their site (which I will review soon). And let me say it was great.
Anyway, my Wife, and I, hop in the car, and get to the Echo inside of 30 to 35 minutes. Get in the door to see an empty club. Ouch.
Only the other bands, and merchandise people are milling around. Barton comes out with his, somewhat, famous, Boston terrier, Brutus. We talk for a bit, about this and that, and how the place is empty. He left to walk Brutus, and I’m in fan-boy heaven.
The first band on was Fem (or Fam?). I couldn’t make out their name. It was two guys, one playing guitar (and singing), and the other guy on bass. They did about five songs, and on one of them the guitarist put down his guitar, and switched to a Casio keyboard with a built-in drum machine, and played a song that way. There were a couple of times I wondered if this was being done legit, because the guys seemed have this ongoing monologue going, and it appeared to be, kind of, a parody. All in all they were decent.
The next band up was Plexikill. Plexikill is, in my opinion, a combination of Rancid, and the Ramones, with pop-punk harmonies. Much better than I expected, being I hadn’t heard of the group.
These guys are seasoned professionals.
The band I was waiting for! Continental! There are so many great influences rolled into this group that it’s hard to categorize them. I think I compared them to my Sister-In-law as the early Rolling Stones, the stuff you hear on Hot Rocks, Mother’s Little Helper era. Just great, straight forward rock and roll.
Rick and the guys ran through the bulk of the EP, and an old Dropkick Murphys song he wrote, and a couple other cuts. All in all it was a great thirty-minute set. The club filled up, and everybody was singing along.
I kind of wished they played another hour or so.
The last band was Civet. They played a good strong set. One of the highlights was the Tim Armstrong penned song off of their new album.
My overall assessment, great night!
Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb