If you were not wearing earplugs Thursday night at Smiths Olde Bar then there is a real good chance your ears are still ringing. Downstairs in the intimate Atlanta Room the music was loud and vicious as a trio of Atlanta bands held nothing back.
The Bloodplums call themselves the saviors of rock and roll and after seeing them live there may be something to that. The brainchild of Heavy Mojo’s B-dirty, the 4 piece punk band is still in their infancy as they hone their live craft and record a debut album. The plums wasted no time as they hit the stage diving head first into a set of tunes driven by vicious guitars, pounding rhythms and biting lyrics. The songs, all originals, pulled no punches weaving through politics, relationships and the state of music that is forced on today’s public. Harnessing a sound similar to classic bands such as the Stooges, Ramones, Bowie and MC5; the Bloodplums dished out old school high octane punk rock music leaving the pop infused garbage that masquerades for punk these days in the dust. As soon as the first “1,2,3,4” was called out the band was in constant motion. The lead guitarist and bassist bounced from spot to spot, the drummer was fast and furious looking like an octopus and B-Dirty jumped around the stage like a man possessed as they tore through tunes from their upcoming record. This was a no frills rock show about the music not the image, and I feel like these dudes would be more comfortable bursting ear drums in a dingy garage than on a stage in a fancy venue. Keep an ear out in 2014 for the Bloodplums as they attempt to save rock music from itself.
Sharing the stage was the Atlanta band (by way of Detroit and LA) Detroit Mutant Radio (DMR). These guys have been playing together for a while and they know how to deliver a good show. The dual guitar attack of WHIZ and RAMA-DoN set the tone as they traversed a set loaded with equal amounts of head banging rock, smooth soul and hip-hop. The rhythmic backbone of LOS (bass) and J-ROCK WILSON had people grooving while Mr. CREECH pulled of vocals that ranged from a guttural scream to a soulful croon. Their music rolls all over the place but that is what makes it so good. With each song another layer is opened up displaying the plethora of skills this band possesses. From the rocking “Turn It Up” to the mellowish “In The Rain” DMR had the intimate room thumping. Their live shows are an experience that needs to be ingested.
Opening the night was the band Panels. A guitar heavy rock trio with music built around fuzz and distortion sounding like a lot of the college/indie rock bands from the 90’s. Sonically they sounded pretty good, lyrically not bad as they delved out their fair share of noise. This trio put on an interesting show. It was obvious they are new at this due to a lead man that didn’t want to talk, a drummer that did but would have to come out from behind the kit, a broken string that nearly derailed the set and not having enough material when the sound man told them to play another couple of songs. Once these dudes iron out all the kinks it will be interesting to see where the music takes them.
When the night came to a close and the music was still ringing in everyone’s ears, the weekend was officially here early thanks to the Bloodplums, Detroit Mutant Radio and Panels. While most people go see the bands they hear on the radio, read about on the internet or see on TV at the larger venues it is nights like this that always trump those big productions. Local bands, playing in local venues is a win/win situation no matter how you look at it. I highly suggest you check these bands out as well as other local music whenever you get a chance.