The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ is currently playing host to a 4-night stand with the Bouncing Souls, a marathon of shows featuring different opening acts and set lists each night of their "Home For the Holidays" extravaganza, which began this past Thursday and ends Sunday night. When rumors started circling that one of Friday night's opening bands—the unknown "Molly and The Zombies"—was actually a Brian Fallon side project, fans of his main band, The Gaslight Anthem, quickly snatched up tickets and headed down to Asbury Park to check and see if Fallon was really behind the mysterious group.
After great sets from local Jersey band The Brigantines and delightful songbird Laura Stevenson, the crowd erupted in applause when they saw that it was indeed their hometown hero Fallon who was about to play for them. The foursome—which also features bassist Catherine Popper, singer/guitarist Brian McGee and drummer Randy Schrager—played a set comprised of previously unheard original material along with covers of the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" and Roky Erickson's "I Walked With a Zombie", which Fallon also performed when he played with the Bouncing Souls in September (my review here). The are so brand new that Fallon had to refer to lyric cheat sheets to ensure he didn't forget any of the words!
Being that Fallon is the common bond between the Gaslight Anthem and Molly and The Zombies, a first impression comparison at this early stage is inevitable. Fallon is responsible for the lyrics to Gaslight's music, so it's not surprising that the Zombies don't stray far from the Gaslight sound and relationship-themed lyrics. But Molly and The Zombies are unique enough to garner their own following that might not be into Fallon's other material. For example, based on last night's song choices, mosh pits and sweaty rock-outs don't seem a likely possibility at any future Zombies shows. This may come as a relief to some of Fallon's fans who have endured some rough situations at a Gaslight show.
At this time, the group was formed so recently that it's not entirely certain what lies ahead for them. Could a record release and more shows be in the band's near future? Hopefully the answer is yes.