Court in Chaos - the Athol-based quintet showed some musical chops as they moved through prog- and metal- influenced rock. At times things got derivative, but the twin guitars carried the extended tracks.
The Blue Moves - The other acts on this night were harder and heavier, so it was fun to hear this band that had a surf rock / 50's vibe. The five-piece act alternated lead singers between lead guitarist Andy Reed, rhythm guitarist Michael Porciello, and Megan Brown, who also played some hand percussion. The group's vocal harmonies were tight and it was clear they had worked on them. A fun moment that showed off the group's diversity was back-to-back covers of the Clash's reggae-tinged "Rudy Can't Fail" and The Cure's "Just Like Heaven." The rhythm section consisted of Ben Walworth on bass and Eric Zawada on drums. I was impressed with their set.
Burns From Within - How much charisma can a lead singer have if he sits on a stool the whole set? In the case of Burns From Within frontman John Lamonda, quite a bit. He's a big fellow with an even larger voice, shifting ably between deep rich tones and metal-style screaming. He was backed by some talented axemen with extra strings - Jefferson Bourguignon was blazing fast on the seven-string guitar, and Eric Corbett rocked the five-string bass. Rounding out the quartet was Rob Dexter keeping the beat. I'm not a huge fan of the heavy metal style the group played, but they played it quite well and made their set a fun time.
Genre Whores - I reviewed the trio's EP "Frequently Banned By Content Filters" about a year ago, but this is the first time I've had the chance to see them live. The Worcester-area group played virtually all the EP, and they've added some tunes since then, including creative covers of The Charlie Daniels Band's "Long-Haired Country Boy," Kansas' "Dust In the Wind," and, most improbably, Taylor Swift's "You Belong To Me." The diversity of these influences (also as implied by the name "Genre Whores") shows up in the music, an aggressive blend of punk rock, classic rock, folk, and country. The group has a definite presence; even though the Lucky Dog was pretty sparse (as one would expect for a day-after-New-Year's show), they kept things hopping with energy. No 12-minute guitar solos here, just Jim the Drummer, bassist Tom Dumont, and frontman / rhythm guitarist Dave Leary pushing the tempo and cranking the volume.
Court In Chaos Facebook page
The Blue Moves Facebook page
Burns From Within Myspace page
Genre Whores Myspace page