Sunday, January 03, 2010

Geronimo! @ 1919 Hemphill, 1.15.2010

For years, bands have sought to come up with a final solution to the bassplayer problem. The Doors used Ray Manzarek's left hand; Local H, bass pickups on Scott Lucas' guitar; the White Stripes, a big empty space onstage between Meg 'n' Jack. Give Chicago-based trio Geronimo! credit for crafting a new 'n' original approach: a pitch-shifted keyboard, run through a bass rig.

These three refugees from Rockford, Illinois -- ranked among the ten worst cities in America by no less of an authority than Money magazine -- mix a pop-punker's obsession with melody (and reedy vocals) with heavy dynamics (these boys likes to play it LOUD). Their penchant for fuzz 'n' thump (dig "Kicked Out the Fear" on their Myspace thingy) is indicative they listened to the same Tull and Sabbath platters from the '70s as Soundgarden did, but their thrusting forward motion on "Design Yourself a Heart," which features a guitar hook that might well have been cribbed from the mighty Me-Thinks' "Speedhair," sounds for all the world like the Violent Femmes on crank after they stole Cobain's distortion pedals.

If I wasn't recording with HIO the night they hit 1919 Hemphill, I'd surely be there to throw these guys some gas money. If you don't have a similar excuse, you should be there. And tell I'm I sent ya.


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