Jeff Stuka is a real live wire kooky pants. His views are not necessarily not the views of Blue Whale Studios, neither are they necessarily the views of Blue Whale Studios….
Shana Tova / Even Atlas / Strangetime
Strangetime. Strange children! They don’t even know the names of their own songs. I like that kind of disorganised chaos. I’m a sucker for cute chicks (Do we still say chick?- PC Ed.) with tight bobs who play guitars and sing raucous meaty rock so yay and yum when I found one on stage tonight. A delicious scent that owes a lot to Siouxsie Sioux and the YYY’s, with the perfumed fragrance of PJ Harvey and Patti Smith drifting around somewhere in the mix.
Nothing overly complicated in the arrangements, just punchy tunes whacked in to life with axes and a couple of planks of wood. It’s all a bit excitable, particularly after the performance when I shared a delightful few minutes helping them consider alternative band names to replace the current one, which they openly despise (see here for more on this problem). There’s room for improvement, of course. I reckon they could work on making that sound more expansive but there’s potential in this bunch of witty little tykes. I shall be watching these guys closely in the future, and not just for the cute chick. (Apparently so.)
I’m not going to say much about Even Atlas. I could damn them with faint praise but really they deserve more respect. They do try to inject variety and imagination into the RATM style punk but are limited by the restrictions of the form they’ve adopted. I can’t say the songs were bad but nothing grabbed me by the gentleman’s friendlies and swung me around like a harpoon in a whaler’s fist either. Unfortunately, I got distracted by the ghost of past reviews about halfway through and as I tried to justify myself to strangers, I only half caught the music in the background, which was a shame as it sounded like the most interesting part of their set.
Shana Tova have a lo-fi pedigree as long as Peter Stringfellow’s mullet. With three members drawn from some of the last decade’s luminaries of the lo-fi scene (the Starries, Panda Love Unit and cute chicks with guitars combo, Twist), it’s quite reasonable to expect songs about being an awkward outsider in a town full of plateheaded boors who just don’t understand you. At least that’s my opinion anyway. They may choose to differ on that.
The arrangements are of the challenging sort, the ones that flick the dead switch of plateheaded boors, shuffling around the realm of JoFo and Sunset Cinema Club. What one might class as alternative if a) there wasn’t so much of it about and b) anyone knew what that label actually meant. Regardless, it’s pretty marvellous stuff, just the sort of thing to jerk yourself around to in an antisocial manner (sorry, that’s my drink on your shoes). I’m now off to bookmark their Myspace and that’s exactly what you should do too. Hot bajingo!