Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Rants, Great Lakes Myth Society, Brandon Wiard and the Saviors, The Ultrasounds at the Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor, 11/17/06

Wow, this is long overdue, sorry. Kind of like The Rants new record “Spirit!,” for which lead Rant Ian Saylor and a few choice friends (Eddie Baranek of The Sights and Dave Lawson of The Pop Project, Next Door Neighbors and a million other bands) held a couple release parties over the weekend on Nov. 17.

We were at the Friday show at the newly relocated Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. Great place, the Neutral Zone, but if you’re not in its target range of clientele (not in high school, as was much of the crowd) it can kind of feel like you’re on the set of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Supporting the Rants on this date were The Ultrasounds, Brandon Wiard and the Saviors, and Great Lakes Myth Society. As order of syntax implies, The Ultrasounds played first. They’re pretty young yet (what am I talking about, they’re all my age or a few years under), but there just might be some potential there.

Brandon Wiard and the Saviors followed. Brandon’s got great songwriting chops, but there was a little bit of oomph missing from his set that night. He was probably just exhausted from sickness and putting together the lovingly crafted packaging for “Spirit!,” which is out on his label Cerberus Records.

As long waits seem to be the recurring theme of this entry, let’s talk about how long it was since we had last seen Great Lakes Myth Society — it was two months, which when your blog is named Just Haircuts and Jackets, is too long. The band started things off with “Big Jim Hawkins” and the fiery passion of the battle between Hawkins and Paul Bunyan powered the set. One day I’m going to write an entry just about the voices of the brothers Monger.

Not being familiar with The Rants beyond “Spirit!,” I can’t tell you how much of their set was devoted to songs off the new record. I can tell you that in the live setting, Ian and his surrogate band imbued the songs with a frenzied energy (mostly Eddie’s doing) and a distorted guitar sound standing in for the more subtle elements of psychedelia found on the record. Suffice it say, the version of “Ain’t it a Drag” that came out of my car stereo on the drive home was much different from the one that reverberated through the Neutral Zone earlier in the night, but I liked ‘em both.

"Spirit!" has been limited to a release of 100 copies, so if you haven't got one, order it soon. Recommended for anyone looking for a great record from 2006 that sounds like a great record from 1966.


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