Ye + Haru Bangs + Batshelter

Music Seen
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 4, 2009
Who was the least idiosyncratic band at Bubba’s last Thursday? Maybe the (not breaking up, but going on academic hiatus) duo Haru Bangs, who were the only act in plainclothes, but who also unfurled dynamic, punishingly loud fits of drum and effects-mauled guitar which will either strike you as utterly alienating or as novel, dizzying bits of well-composed chaos?

How about Batshelter, looking rather like a middle-aged roadhouse band who got sidetracked at a few sludge-metal and speed-punk shows while they were reading up on the domestic politics of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Or perhaps it was Ye, the likable and messy punk trio whose bile-spewing, Mcluskyesque ambitions are met with new elements of theatricality every time they play? (A few weeks ago, it was irrepressible frontman Andy Lyman playing guitar while being hoisted upside-down; here, he was in a Victorian-era child’s nightgown and drummer Diane Toepfer was dressed like Boz Scaggs.)

Through their sheer disjointedness, the three bands made for a show mercifully glued together by its oddness. After a Batshelter guitarist stood in the exact same (wide straddle) position for an entire song — which, representative of their catalog, was full of non-sequiturs between Zeppelin riffs and doom-metal truculence — Haru Bangs took the year’s ubiquitous indie trend (skronked-out fuzz punk) and gave it an overdue sense of compositional dignity, while perhaps jarring some of the women in the audience with devil-may-care guitar shrieks. Ye’s two singers (the audacious Lyman and his more brooding foil, Nick Schroeder) would reveal the inspiration behind their nihilistically brief songs two nights later, leading a Misfits/Cramps tribute band at SPACE Gallery on Halloween. As their performances become more ostentatious and confident, they’ll probably be capable of inciting a similar frenzy.
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