Three exceptionally charismatic young acts opened for bands from Philadelphia on Congress Street Monday night. I managed to catch most of all of their sets.
Belfast’s Class Machine are Nathan Raleigh and Cody Tibbetts, a devil-may-care duo who played at SPACE. Tall and well on his way to a Ronald McDonald ’fro, Raleigh plays a pedal-warped bass while Tibbetts pumps out aggressive, hi-hat-heavy beats on his Spartan drum kit while resting a guitar on his lap. The short, often pulverizing rock music they make necessarily recalls the early brio of the White Stripes, though it occasionally bumbles into funk/reggae territory. Raleigh, singing for a dozen people early on, howled like he was playing for a thousand times as many, and his effortlessly charming vocals (“rhythm is a nasty habit,” he bellowed to open the set) are difficult to resist.
Over at Port City Music Hall, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper seized one of her biggest shows to date (opening for Dr. Dog) to by and large own a large Monday crowd. Aly Spaltro took her time between songs, rotating between four or five instruments, but hers is a voice that can hush an antsy crowd quickly. It’s difficult to imagine tiring of her fractured, multi-movement love songs when every time she sings them it’s as though she’s pouring — or ripping — her heart out for the first time.
Back at SPACE, the final four songs of Dead Man’s Clothes yet revealed a vibrant, youthful voice in the local indie-rock scene. With gorgeous textures (courtesy of bassist Ian Riley and guitarists TJ Metcalfe and Don Dumont) informed by instrumental post-rock and a brilliantly restless and on-point drummer (Eliot Heeschen), not to mention some urgent and stirring vocal harmonies, the band proved themselves a complete package in under 20 minutes. Afterward, Philadelphia’s Drink Up Buttercup mastered the art of the practiced-yet-freewheeling melody, as backbeats crashed down with the might of sledgehammers.
: New England Music News
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