Saturday, June 09, 2007

That was Whack

Oftentimes I leave shows with a headache. Maybe someone's amp was way too loud or the singer couldn't carry a tune. Tonight, I drove home with a headache because during Whack's set, the mosh was so sick that my brain literally rattled around in it's cage.

Tonight the WESPAC in White Plains hosted an array of bands, but the stand out act was clearly Ardsely, NY's Whack. Their driving, original instrumentals kept the entire room dancing-not to mention drenched in sweat. The space is small and personal, and boy did we all get up close and personal. Moshing turned to dancing turned to skipping in a circle for no reason at all, and then back to mosh again. What a crowd.

The six-piece group is celebrating the release of their new CD, Angel Hong and the Diner Punks (Tapeworm), and commemorated the release by playing the album in its entirety. The night was full of fun surprises, not limited to: Will McAndrew stagediving off an amp (while wearing a dress), pinatas filled with candy and musical instrument treats, and a moment of calm for Max Gordon's organ interlude. The Wall of Death at the end of the show was definitely a highlight, and I'm glad that Drew Mollo was on my side. I, for one, can say that I have never danced so much in my life. This show reminded me what it is to love and support a thriving local punk scene, and realize that I'm not too old for it yet.

Silly me, I've gotten this far and hardly said a thing about the music. The band boasts a classic line-up (guitar, bass, set, keys) and some less traditional, but indispensable additions, saxophone, accordion, and sometimes xylophone. Every song is a tour-de-force wall of sound, the accordion adding infinite depth to the mix. Their song titles are clever ("I've Got Miles of Davis," "Cosine Me Up") and their sound is unique. I'm actually having a really hard time with this. I don't usually include my inner monologue in my posts but I need to explain what I'm going to do. I'm going to make a list of all of the things that meld together to make this band what it is. Ready? Go. Punk, ethnic influence, minor keys, organ, breakdowns, fun, circuses, coffee & cigarettes, spontaneous combustion, bass amp stage dives, danceability (yes, I made up a word), and pure passion. Tell me guys, do you think I got it right? You'll all have to hear for yourselves.

Angel Hong and the Diner Punks, Whack's full-length, is out now on the wonderful Tapeworm DIY label. Those boys do such a nice job, don't they? Actually as far as I know this is only Tapeworm's second release, the first being Men Who Lunch's Discography (confirm/deny). Please go to their myspace, come out to a show, and keep this wonderful scene going.

Whack's Myspace
Upcoming show schedule:
6/15 - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church - White Plains, NY
6/23 - SNRF Benefit - Liberty Park - White Plains, NY
8/3 - Wespac - White Plains, NY
8/10 - The Backdoor - Nyack, NY

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