Gustaf, Dead Tooth @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Gustaf, Dead Tooth @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Gustaf at Music Hall of Williamsburg (photo by Kevin McGann

 

Brooklyn’s own art post punksters Gustaf brought it all back home last week for their tour closer at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The group, who has been touring in support of their sophomore album Package Pt. 2 (read our review), played to packed house full of fans and just as many friends.

 

Kicking off the night were fellow Brooklyn band Dead Tooth who put on one of the most electric shows out there. Whether it’s frontman Zach Ellis ripping it on the mic, John Stanesco wailing on sax, or Taylor Mitchell crushing his guitar, all three are front and center as Gui Fuentes lays down the beat and on this night, Jason Smith filling in to rip on his bass. And as they’re known to do, Dead Tooth cleared a path on the floor for dancer extraordinaire, Nola Sporn Smith, to put her interpretive spin on their sound before joining them onstage for an explosive climax. 

 

Following Dead Tooth, Gustaf came out to thunderous applause. Since hitting the scene in 2018 the band has built a loyal following, whether through playing their own shows or through landing major support slots like their 2021 shows opening for IDLES, along with additionally supporting bands like Wet Leg, Yard Act and more all while picking up praise from Beck along the way. The band kicked things off with Package opener “Statue” which perfectly describes lead singer Lydia Gammill being at “the center of the stage.” From there it was banger after banger, including tracks from their amazing 2021 debut album, Audio Drag for Ego Slobs

 

 

One of the things that makes Gustaf’s sound so dynamic is the syncopated, rhythmic backbone thanks to Vram Kherlopian on guitar, Tine Hill on bass, Melissa Lucciola on drums, and of course Tarra Thiessen on all things percussion. Tracks like “Starting and Staring,” “What Does it Mean,” and “Here Hair/Hard Hair” really showcase their playful approach and free up Gammill to work the stage, pound her chest and pull at her hair. Before it was all over, there was one more thing to celebrate besides the new album and tour closer—Thiessen and Kherlopian were celebrating their first wedding anniversary. And what better way to celebrate than with a few hundred of your closest friends.

 

If you happen to be in Europe or the UK in August, try and catch Gustaf on one of their dates supporting Sleater-Kinney. And make sure to check out Package Pt. 2, which is already one of the best albums of 2024.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

DEAD TOOTH

Dead Tooth performing

Dead Tooth performing

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GUSTAF

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Loosey, Dog Date, Vamanos @ Brooklyn Made

Loosey, Dog Date, Vamanos @ Brooklyn Made

Loosey with Dog Date at Brooklyn Made (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Three of New York City’s hardest hitting bands combined forces last week for a blistering show at Brooklyn Made. Full Time Aesthetic was there to help capture the magic onstage from ¡Vamanos! as well as Dog Date and Loosey, both of whom were celebrating recent releases.

 

First up was New York based noise rock duo ¡Vamanos! who set the tone for the night with their distinct brand of heavily distorted blues infused rock. It’s easy to forget when rockin’ out to them that there’s only two of them on stage. Featuring songs from their catalog, including 2019’s classic EP Streetwalker, the sound seems to hit you from every angle. 

 

After getting the crowd amped up, ¡Vamanos! was followed up by an FTA fave, Dog Date. One of the hardest working bands out there, the dual guitar, dual drummer quintet have played countless shows up and down the east coast, strengthening the songs found on their recent release, Zinger (Pop Wig Records). Like their last full-length release, 2019’s Child’s Play, the new album slams with short bursts of energy, distorted guitars, an onslaught of rhythm and frontman Dylan Kennedy’s unmistakable wail over all of it. When his guitar pickup failed towards the end, Kennedy was front and center with just a mic, joining guitarist Malcolm Spraggs Hoyt and bassist Andy Stoffo down on the floor while drummers Leo Didkovsky and Kristian Pitaccio destroyed their kits. These guys always give 110% and this night was no exception.

 

 

Closing the night was Loosey who were celebrating the release of their EP Spring Promo ’24 (Hubby Gang!) which came out two days before. Entering the room to the opening track “Return to the Bubble Metropolis,” Loosey immediately launched into a hard hitting, unabashed rock ‘n roll show that found frontman Fizzy up on the railing working the crowd. A veteran of the local rock and hardcore scene, Fizzy is known for his energetic performances, whether it’s with Loosey, The New York Hounds, or Criminal amongst others; he rips through every song like it’s his last. And whether he’s on the rail, on the floor or taking time for a shot of whiskey, he and the band give it everything. Towards the end of the set, Dog Date literally joined them on the stage floor with a couple of toms and created another wall of percussion that culminated in the usual Dog Date pile up with Fizzy on top. Definitely one for the books.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

¡VAMANOS!

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DOG DATE

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LOOSEY

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Nihiloceros, Spite FuXXX, Two Man Giant Squid @ Purgatory

Nihiloceros, Spite FuXXX, Two Man Giant Squid @ Purgatory

Nihiloceros at Purgatory (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

NYC’s hardest working, kindest hearted band, Nihiloceros, celebrated their recent full-length release, Dark Ice Balloons, this past weekend at Purgatory and it was a banger of a night. Joining them on the bill were some of NYC’s other hardest-working bands Two-Man Giant Squid, Spite FuXXX, and opening the night, Brook Pridemore

 

Pridemore kicked things off but unfortunately, thanks to the L train and its shenanigans, I was not there. But judging by the buzz in the crowd, it’s safe to say they rocked their set and had everyone amped for the rest of the night. And things moved quickly as Two-Man Giant Squid were set up and rockin’ out to a lean mean set shortly after Pridemore finished. The Brooklyn-based post-punk band has made a name for themselves based on their electric live shows and tracks like their recent 2024 single ‘I was a DJ in 2015’ which carries on the grooves found on their stellar 2023 full-length album, Intro To Basement.

 

After a great set from Squid it was time to pull back the curtains (literally), unveil the album artwork for Dark Ice Balloons and for Nihiloceros to take the stage. They kicked things off with album opener “Penguin Wings” and lead vocalist/guitarist Mike Borchardt was ready in a full-length penguin outfit. Borchardt, along with Alex Hoffman on bass/vocals, and newest member Glenn Gentzke on drums (previous drummer German Sent played on the album), ripped through a killer version of “Wings” and then jumped right into 2021’s “Mammal Science Fiction” and “Dirty Homes.” At some point a bunch of black balloons were released which added to the album imagery and new songs “Martian Wisconsin,” “Skipper,” and “Krong.” By the end of their blistering set, Borchadt was down on the floor playing in the crowd as the band killed it with “A.N.U.S.” from their 2017 self-titled EP.

 

 

Closing the night was another FTA fave, Spite FuXXX who are as well known for their crazy live shows as they are for their hard-hitting music (check out our coverage from another recent show). Lead singer MG Stillwaggon doesn’t wait for the end of a set to get down on the floor—she kicks things off that way and gets right to it, working the crowd with a hot pink megaphone while the band creates a swirl of guitar, bass and sound effects to a driving beat. Unfortunately, the set was cut a little short to make way for the after-hours disco party but I’ll be anxiously awaiting their next show.

 

For more on Nihilceros’ new album, you can read FTA’s review here. And make sure to catch these guys live as they put on one a helluva show.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

TWO MAN GIANT SQUID

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

Two Man Giant Squid performing

 

NIHILOCEROS

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SPITE FUXXX

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Black Country, New Road, Camera Picture, Horsegirl @ Brooklyn Paramount

Black Country, New Road, Camera Picture, Horsegirl @ Brooklyn Paramount

Black Country, New Road at Brooklyn Paramount (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Last week saw the return of Black Country, New Road to NYC at the recently opened Brooklyn Paramount. It was my first time seeing them again since I covered their dual gigs at Bowery Ballroom in 2022 (coverage can be seen here) when they played both a matinee and evening gig on the same day. Fortunately, the gorgeous new Paramount theatre has a photo pit so I didn’t have to join a long line outside like last time as their following just continues to grow.

 

Kicking things off was Camera Picture, or as he’s more commonly known—Cameron Picton of Black Midi. Singing along to his acoustic guitar, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful sound generated in that open concert hall setting. The second was the almost classical approach to Picton’s performance, making for an otherworldly sound that was so appropriate for BCNR’s own sound. That is until be broke out a verse of  Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” which drew some cheers from the crowd who obviously have dug into their parents record collection.

 

Following Picton was Chicago natives, Horsegirl, who also opened for BCNR for the dual 2022 Bowery Ballroom shows. Playing material from their album Versions of Modern Performance (Matador Record) it was a reminder why the trio, made up of guitarists Nora Cheng and Penelope Lowenstein, along with drummer Gigi Reece, create such a buzz and have fans eagerly awaiting their follow-up.

 

 

For a total palate cleanser after the beautiful sounds of both openers, BCNR took to the stage to Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love.” It was a fun, cheeky way to kick off their set. The music that followed was complex and moving, with its ebbs and flows and lead vocals that were passed around various band members. Whether it was the known songs, such as “For the Old Country,” “Turbines/Pigs,” and “The Boy,” or brand new material that was debuted to the crowd, the rich sound of their music and varied instrumentation took you to another place. And perhaps best of all was the fact that you could hear a pin drop being that the crowd was so quiet and attentive. Something that was pointed out and appreciated by the band.

 

 

Hopefully at some point in 2024 we’ll see new albums dropped by all involved. BCNR released their last album, Live at Bush Hall in 2023 via Ninja Tune, but the world is still anxiously awaiting the first, post-Isaac Wood album of new material since his departure right before their sophomore album, Ants From Up There was released in 2022. Based on the material the band has been releasing, and the new songs heard at the Paramount this past week, it should be a beauty. 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

CAMERA PICTURE

Camera Picture performing

Camera Picture performing

Camera Picture performing

Camera Picture performing

Camera Picture performing

 

HORSEGIRL

Horsegirl performing

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BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD

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Metz, Gouge Away @ Bowery Ballroom

Metz, Gouge Away @ Bowery Ballroom

Metz at Bowery Ballroom (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Canada’s favorite punk trio METZ returned to NYC this weekend for a blistering show in support of their latest album, Up On Gravity Hill (Sub Pop). It’s their first album of new material in four years and fans packed NYC’s Bowery Ballroom to hear some of those new tracks along with past favorites. And while the new material is a bit of a departure, likely owing to the recent power pop influence of singer/guitarist Alex Edkins’ other project, Weird Nightmare, it is in the best sense, and their punk rock roots are still strong. The energy in the bands delivery made the new songs blend seamlessly with their older material.

 

Opening the night was Florida-based Gouge Away who share a hardcore punk affinity with METZ and made for a great pairing for this tour. Lead singer Christina Michelle is a force of nature who works the stage like she’s stalking prey. And the crowd was there for it, from the mosh pit to the stage as they screamed along. A lot of the set came from their stellar new album, Deep Sage (Deathwish) which has broadened their sound as well as Michelle’s vocals. What’s most amazing is that the band nearly called it quits during the pandemic when they put the album on hold and temporarily went their separate ways.

 

 

By the time METZ took the stage the crowd was primed and ready. From the opening notes the floor erupted and crowd surfers started getting passed around. And bandmates Alex Edkins on guitar/vocals, Hayden Menzies on drums, and Chris Slorach on bass gave them plenty to mosh to as they ripped their way through tracks from Gravity Hill. Highlights included “99”, “Entwined (Light Street Buzz)”, and album opener “No Reservation/Love Comes Crashing”. When it seemed like the mayhem had finally ended and the house lights came on and the Twin Peaks theme which proceeded the show started playing, the crowd just wouldn’t accept it was over. And the band, hearing the non-stop chant of METZ! wound up coming back and closing the show with an unexpected encore of “Wet Blanket” from their 2012 self-titled debut. It was the perfect ending to an amazing show and an amazing night for both bands.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

GOUGE AWAY

Gouge Away performing

Gouge Away performing

Gouge Away performing

Gouge Away performing

Gouge Away performing

Gouge Away performing

Gouge Away performing

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METZ

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