Hot Music on a Cold Night

January 4th, 2010

These Green Eyes – Mercury Lounge – January 3, 2009

These Green Eyes - Mercury Lounge - January 3, 2009

These Green Eyes

On one of the coldest and windiest nights of the winter, Mercury Lounge hosted a five-band showcase of a variety of Northeastern musical talent. The first three groups, Robots and Empire (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), the Lows (New Haven, Conn.) and These Green Eyes (New Haven, Conn.), played more straight-up rock music than the later bands, with These Green Eyes being the most unique of the bunch. Visibly and audibly, they have more post-hardcore, emo and punk influences, and they skillfully combine anthemic choruses with heavy riffs.

However, as excited as I was to see These Green Eyes, I was pleased I caught the last two acts, Brooklyn’s Guitar Bomb and the Sweet Ones, both of which played less-serious sets than the preceding bands. Guitar Bomb is simply a shaggy-haired singer-guitarist jamming with a heavy-hitting drummer, playing a collision of punk and the blues, like a more ludicrous and twangy version of the Gay Blades or the Black Keys. Song titles like “Shit Stains” and “Liquor Genie” and “Freaks, freaks, freaks take back the streets” choruses had me toe-tapping and laughing.

The Sweet Ones are pretty much the same deal as Guitar Bomb, but play with a fuller lineup. The heavy-hitting drummer—and the bassist who sat in on Guitar Bomb’s last four songs—remained, but the shaggy-haired guitarist was replaced by a man with shorter hair. I didn’t catch any of the band’s song titles, but the Sweet Ones did introduce a tune as “a song that’s very true about NYC” and went on to mention “it’s not who you know but who you blow.” Needless to say, I can’t wait to see either band again. —Kirsten Housel

Photos courtesy of Kirsten Housel