If there’s one thing I love, it’s a noise punk show. Heavy on the noise AND the punk please. I was due to work Patti Smith’s show the same night at a large venue across town and was going to run over after my shift to catch the very end of things, but then luck intervened and my boss was looking to cut some staff for the evening so I jumped at the chance to be there for the majority of the show and get my noise fix in. (No offense to Ms. Smith of course, I’ve seen her twice already and worked one of her shows; she was fantastic every time.)
YHWH Nailgun opened the evening and this was not only their EP release but their very first show as well. A Bandcamp page exists that has two older releases on it from 2020, so it appears that maybe this was a recording only project at first that now has evolved into a full band. This is deeply experimental music— synth, jazz, and rock all thrown in a blender and played in a dark and craggy cavern. I was impressed with their musicianship and am going to keep an eye on where they go next.
I saw Pons for the first time just six days before this show and in my write up on that one, I described them as a frantic noise punk band that sounds like Brainiac and Hella had a baby that was raised by no wave wolves on acid and that’s an assessment I stand by. The lighting at this show made that even more of a reality and a very delightful fever dream watching them. This band doesn’t hold back and their duel drummers make things even more exciting; they are hands down absolutely one of my new favorites to watch. I’ve been digging into their recorded catalog to get myself caught up and they have a new single coming on 3/16 (check their social media for pre-save info). You can catch them live next on 3/10 at Trans Pecos.
Bass and drums punk bands are my favorite type of lineup/sound so it really should be no surprise that Venus Twins, being masters of the style, are one of my favorite bands (and yes the name is literal, they are in fact identical twins, Jake and Matt Derting, drummer and bassist/vocalist respectively). I discovered them while working sound for one of their shows in 2019 and every time I grumble that working nights can be a drag, I think back to nights like that and I remember that it’s actually incredible because I get paid to listen to music every night and get to make awesome discoveries like this along the way. They’ve been back and forth between Brooklyn and Denton, TX ever since the pandemic hit and have been hard at work on new stuff throughout that time, playing tons of shows in Texas and touring when they have been able to. This band has one level which is MAXIMUM, going hard for every single second they’re on stage.
I know I’ve already made a comparison to Hella in this review, but it’s hard not to again with these guys, particularly when it come to Jake Derting’s drumming and its clear influence by Zach Hill. But if I’m being brutally honest here, while I do love Hella, I really think Hill was unnecessarily busy most of the time and often failed to strike the right balance with the rest of the song in many of this other projects, stomping on parts that otherwise could have been easier and more enjoyable to listen to had he just pulled back a little (I’m thinking of his work specifically in Team Sleep and The Ladies here). But this isn’t a review about him and it is about Venus Twins so let’s get back to it….Derting has a frantic style for sure, but wins this “contest” by a mile because he knows how to pair it more succinctly with what his counterpart is doing (call it twin instinct?). He also manages to make a single kick pedal sound like double bass and never stops hammering the beats (breaking his pedal halfway through the set in fact). The band has been working on new music and have a split coming as well as a new album which you know I am 100% ready for! They will be back at TV Eye on 4/8 and are looking to make the permanent move back to Brooklyn so we may be seeing much more of them soon which is a-okay in my book.
A 4th band, Castle Rat, closed out the night but sadly I had to make my departure right as they were beginning their set. They’ve got some gothy Sabbath vibes going on (and at least one member sporting a plague doctor stage outfit) so I’ll keep them on my radar to catch a show some other time.
If you’re a noise rock fan (or even otherwise) these are all bands to keep on your radar for sure.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)