The universe did not conspire against me and I made it to the first of my anticipated shows for June on Tuesday. I ended up meeting a buddy, Ray from the Crooked Cobras, at the show and he graciously agreed to share some thoughts about each of the bands, since he has things like “musical talent” and “an encyclopedic knowledge of punk rock dating back to the late ’70s” that I woefully lack. His comments will appear after my ramblings.
First on stage was Evad & The Ominous Squad. I always enjoy seeing Dave (hint: that’s Evad backwards; ask to see the tattoo) and the rest of the gang. Their music is straight punk with some poppy undertones, and it pays tribute to the solo acoustic performances Dave did before joining up with drummer Jon and bassist Josh. You can next see them playing on July 20th at Moondogs Pub in Blawnox with The Full Monty and Rocky Dennis Face.
Ray sez: they’ve got a melodic, 90s punk rock sound, and would be right at home in that era of Fat Wreck Chords. Or Epitaph, but back when Epitaph didn’t suck. They also had vibes of The Offspring (unless they don’t like The Offspring? I don’t want to insult them). I thought the drummer was especially solid.
I was glad to finally get a chance to see Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs! since I missed their previous two shows. As one might expect, the songs are about dinosaurs and a variety of other serious topics: dinosaurs and hockey, dinosaurs and ice cream, dinosaurs and acid… itʻs absolutely tongue-in-cheek and fun as hell, especially with singer Zach running around in front of the stage like a madman. There was some audience participation with the song “These Are the People That I Want To See Eaten By the Dinosaurs” and they closed out their set with an homage to the Descendents‘ Suburban Home… about T-Rex arms. Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs! may be a gimmick band, but the gimmick is freaking dinosaurs, so… fuck yeah! You can see them tomorrow, June 8th, at Howlers with Antiquities and 57oz to Freedom.
Ray sez: they had a vibe of early Descendents, early Beastie Boys punk, or maybe The Germs. That early 80s old school LA punk feel. Lots of 3-, and 4-chord songs, but that’s okay, it’s fun. The bassist was really good.
Rounding out the evening was On The Cinder. These guys from Buffalo, NY arenʻt strangers to Pittsburgh: they put out their latest album, The Fight Against Ourselves, on Pittsburgh label Between The Days Records and they end up here seemingly every few months. The trio has been on tour since April 19th, but if they were worn out from the road it didn’t show in their set. They played fast and loud, and the heavier sound of their music provided a nice contrast to the two earlier acts. These dudes killed it; definitely a fun way to end the night.
Ray sez: I’m not really sure who I can compare them to. They’re all solid musicians, equally talented. There were no wrong notes I could hear. Almost a Pennywise vibe at times (at times), but they don’t sound like Pennywise. Sometimes a bit of a hardcore sound too. They’re super tight. Definitely have a sound all their own, which is a good thing.