The three bands on tonight’s bill had one thing in common, I didn’t understand much of what they were saying, and it didn’t affect my enjoyment in the least. Russell Hall, lead singer of Tyranny is Tyranny (yes, the acronym is unfortunate, and yes, they just may have planned it that way), claims this band is more accessible than his previous one, the Socialist leaning United Sons of Toil. And he may be right, the music is slightly less pummeling, and he actually sings more than growls. There was even one song that I teased was a power ballad. It may have been slower, and yes he does sing, but it was just as intense as the rest of their set. Some of that intensity can be traced to their new drummer Jonathan Brown who acquitted himself well in his first gig.
Next in line was Buildings from Minneapolis. Apparently they really like the Jesus Lizard, or at least that’s what I’m told, but I can’t comment on that since have no idea what the Jesus Lizard sounds like. I can tell you they were super tight, and the rhythm section hypnotic to watch. Oh, and really loud. It wasn’t exactly my thing, and probably wouldn’t buy their record, but I wouldn’t leave the room should we end up in the same place again someday.
I know the members of Control have played shows at Thorp’s Salon on Atwood, but apparently they have also been hanging out there a lot too. Since the last time I saw them they have become Madison’s most metrosexual band, with the prematurely gray Matt Rajala looking especially handsome. But looks aren’t everything, so it’s lucky they sounded pretty great too. Early on their shows could be a little sloppy, but they have become a finely tuned machine. Some of their songs are instrumental, but others have words, sung by the always smiling Luke Bassuener or Rajala. Like the other bands on the bill, much of what Control sang wasn’t discernible but it wasn’t really important. In this case the voice was just another instrument in the mix. Hall states often that Control is his favorite Madison band, and it would seem he isn’t their only big fan. The band played a clearly unplanned but demanded encore song in response to the enthusiastic audience. They called on Hall to pick the song, too bad he wasn’t even in the room, but instead getting a drink at the bar.
The other thing to like about this show other than the well matched line-up was the fact that it was early. Originally scheduled for 6 pm, it didn’t start till closer to seven after the late show booked for the Frequency was cancelled. It’s a lot easier to go to a show on a Sunday when you know you can be home by ten.
Tyranny Is Tyranny