REVERB Lineup: Bit Saloon

Mobile Slaughter Unit, the Keeper, the Basements, and more.

6:00 p.m. ~ The Basements  If you don't know anything about the Basements (not to be confused with the Basemints), don't feel bad: This REVERB set will be the band's very first show. The recently-assembled garage-rock band—drummer Kurt Bloch (Young Fresh Fellows, Fastbacks), guitarist Jim Sangster (Young Fresh Fellows, Picketts), vocalist Carmella (Sgt. Major), and bassist Drew Church (Droo Church, Little Cuts, Broadcast Oblivion)—will be playing a set dominated by basement-themed songs (i.e., Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto's "In the Basement," the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement"). As Bloch says, "We'll be sweatin' in the basement and try[ing] to be punky without being totally punkass!" SARA BRICKNER7:00 p.m. ~ Levator  Sky Lynn's voice echoes over languid shoegaze melodies in Levator, a three-piece band whose sedate, dreamy tunes, occasional chanting, and tambourines would seem perfectly at peace in a temple accompanied by thick, cloying incense. Lynn's lyrics are mostly indecipherable, but that's OK: Levator's ethereal sound floats like a feather on Lynn's angelic soprano. This is music for a vision quest (OK, psychotropic drugs), because for all its vast, galactic spaciousness, the psychedelic haze Levator creates feels less like an opaque, oppressive force and more like the warm, enveloping presence of an omniscient being whose otherworldly warble is there to lead you out of the fog and into psychic (if not sonic) clarity. SARA BRICKNER8:00 p.m. ~ Tea Cozies  See feature.9:00 p.m. ~ The Redwood Plan  Exuberant pop-punk energy has been the consistent factor in all of frontwoman Lesli Wood's projects to this point—her most recent group, Ms. Led, recently disbanded—but the Redwood Plan takes a decidedly sunnier approach to rock music, a point it drives home with prominent synthesizer use. It's basically dance music for punks who don't like techno. Whatever the setting, Wood remains a dynamic frontwoman, and on tracks like "A-Side," her longtime fans will appreciate the Redwood Plan's nod to Ms. Led's harder edge. The band's also got a new EP out, Movers Shakers Makers, so you can take the dance party home in case you find yourself feeling too punk (or too drunk) to dance in public. SARA BRICKNER10:00 p.m. ~ The Keeper  This band specializes in foreboding, bass-driven metal songs about witches, castles, and mystical folklore—all delivered in frontman Andrew Chapman's gravelly baritone growl—but it's to the band's credit that their music isn't all guttural shrieking and percussive assaults. There's a melodic, almost cinematic aspect to the Keeper, too; "Castles," a slower, ambient track, is one example. But the band's best song, "Tonight We Ride," belongs in the former category: its loud, thumping bass line is the steel girder holding up what is essentially a hilarious, unapologetic ode to Dungeons and Dragons. "We're gonna need plus-three wizard armor and bravery!" Chapman proclaims. "This evil will not stand, man!" Damn right! Where's my 12-sided die? SARA BRICKNER11:00 p.m. ~ Mobile Slaughter Unit  A sonically relentless duo consisting of drummer/vocalist Violet Strychnine and guitarist/vocalist Roddy Chops. The pair recently came out of Conrad Uno's Egg Studio with a two-song demo that's possibly the strongest and most thrilling work produced by a local punk band this year. In a nutshell, it sounds like an unholy resurrection of Fugazi and Karp, fused at the hip and ready for a fistfight. A can't-miss performance by a band that's destined for much bigger things. HANNAH LEVINMidnight ~ Midnight Idols  One of those bands who rely on a very specific, tried-and-true formula: raging metal-guitar riffs topped off with campy '80s glam-metal vocals from the school of Van Halen, GN'R, and Iron Maiden. If these guys weren't such adept musicians—or took themselves seriously—this whole '80s-metal-revival thing would be a total disaster, but their chops are as formidable as their sense of humor. It's impossible not to enjoy frontman Diamond's reedy yowling about the wings of vengeance: He harkens back to an era when nothing was sexier than a man in spandex, a long mullet-mane, and eyeliner. These guys don't indulge in such frippery, but they don't need to: The music is awesome on its own. SARA BRICKNER

 
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