Two band shows are pretty rad. Two band basement shows? Even better. Two band basement shows where you can go upstairs and play Mario Party between sets? HELL YES. Saturday night I headed out to Brookline to catch two awesome locals at Looking For Group (check out our interview with co-founder Brayton Batson). I also ran into roaming Punksburgh correspondent Ray Kolcun (of Crooked Cobras) and bullied him into sharing his thoughts on each band.


The Shutouts

Starting off the evening was the Shutouts, whom I hadn’t seen before (though I have caught guitar player Pat McGhen and drummer Tim Little in Playoff Beard). They just returned to the Pittsburgh scene earlier this year after a five year hiatus and a lineup change. Their music is super poppy, super catchy, and a ton of fun. The Shutouts even got into the Canada Day spirit with a cover of the Pointed Sticks’ “What Do You Want Me To Do?”  I thoroughly enjoyed their set and am bummed to see that they don’t have any upcoming shows. Someone fix that, please?

You can listen to the Shutouts’ EP Saturday Night at the Bunk House on their Bandcamp.

Ray sez: They had a Cheap Trick kind of vibe going on. Definitely in the pop punk, power pop vein. Amazing drumming.


Bottle Rat

Following up were local favorites Bottle Rat. These guys play skate punk that’s aggressive, catchy, and fast as hell–they blew through their 17 song set in about half an hour. They definitely kept the banter short and the music loud. Most importantly, the songs were good, the crowd was into it, and drummer Aaron Zeman makes the most amazing faces while he plays. It’s hard to beat that kind of fun. You can buy Bottle Rat’s debut record All My Friends Are Animals on Bandcamp; check out the recent review from New Noise Magazine.

Ray sez: You cannot leave a Bottle Rat show in a bad mood! It’s the same effect for me as listening to the Ramones.