Home / Concert Reviews / Technicolor Teeth w/ Energy Gown and Carbonleak @ Quarters Rock ’n’ Roll Palace
Monday, March 11, 2013

Technicolor Teeth w/ Energy Gown and Carbonleak @ Quarters Rock ’n’ Roll Palace

March 9, 2013

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The health of the Milwaukee music scene is, of course, a highly subjective matter. There are those who feel that, as long as they’ve got something to do on a Saturday night, everything must be going just fine, and then there are those who want more than their basic needs met, who want diversity and options. Picking between two (or more) promising shows can be a drag, but at least it’s a high-class problem to have. Gladly then, this particular Saturday night made for some tough choices; in Riverwest alone there was a plethora of entertainment options, including Static Eyes and Rio Turbo at Circle-A and The Get Down at Mad Planet, but even so, tonight, Quarters was the place to be.

Well, maybe not right away. With so much competition, the old Rock ’n’ Roll Palace was looking a bit dead by the time 10 p.m. rolled around and the show was supposed to begin, but eventually the bar got busy enough for Carbonleak to take the stage and get the night started in earnest. A relatively new band from Lansing, Mich., the trio trades in noisy, somewhat dazed rock ’n’ roll, reminiscent of the dreamier end of early Sonic Youth, which isn’t to say they’re as good as all that—few things are—but they’ve got that spirit and between the raucous guitar and mumbled, spacey vocals, they’re more than worth watching.

Next up was Chicago’s Energy Gown, a quartet that, like Carbonleak, has only been around a short time, but has the kind of mature sound you’d expect from a much older band, in this case a raw, likably shambolic take on classic psychedelia, complete with splashy, malleted drums, loads of wah-wah pedal and a keyboard run through enough effects to sound like a Hammond organ breathing its last breath. One or two of their songs were too meandering for their own good, but there were plenty of impressive moments, including a freaked-out rendition of The Troggs’ ominous classic “When Will the Rain Come” (the ’60s outfit’s lead singer, Reg Presley, passed away recently, but this didn’t seem to occur to the band until after the song).

Rounding out the bill was Appleton’s Technicolor Teeth, who had intended tonight’s show to be the release party for their new album, Teenage Pagans, which was issued digitally and on cassette last year, until some unexpected events delayed its pressing. Still, even if they’ll have to wait a bit, the band’s performance here should give local wax addicts plenty of reason to pick it up. There’s more space and color to the recordings, but here their particular brand of psych-punk was more aggressive than trippy, all charging drums, squealing guitar and overdriven vocals. Not that seeing this side of them was a disappointment—in fact it was a pleasant surprise. After all, it’s nice to have choices, but it’s even better when you end up making the right one.

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