Cat Scan With Justus Proffit, Ex-Stains At The Echo, Monday June 18th 2018
It’s always a good sign when a band like Cat Scan get a Monday residency, these free events often draw a large crowd and launch the band to a new status. June belongs to Cat Scan at the Echo, and it’s time to check them out if you haven’t done it yet.
Justus Proffit opened the night with a dreamy vibe bathing in fuzzy guitars, the tone was definitively melancholic and the moody music, driven by a punk angst, culminated in moments as loud as something escaped from the ’90s indie scene. And with the almost fragile vocals singing a delicate melody above the tumultuous guitars and drums, I had some flash backs of Elliott Smith, Figure 8 era… that’s why I was not too surprised to see that the late singer-songwriter was one of his influences among Lemonheads, Teenage Fanclub, Tony Molina and Pixies. So far Justus Proffit has 2 albums on bandcamp – just listen to the EP, ‘UPS/ DOWNS’ which was released last year, it a beautiful lo-fi affair with an intimate whisper – but they played new songs on Monday night, which means we will hear about them soon.
Sex Stains, turned Ex-Stains are truly gonna be an Ex thing soon, since front-riot-girl Allison Wolfe announced the band will be playing only one more show before their definitive breakup. They are going to play their last one next week at the Regent after the screening of ‘Here To Be Heard’, the Story of Slits. Since their beginning (was it about 4 years ago?), they have been through a few lineup changes, especially when choreographer and vocalist Mecca Vazie Andrews left the group, but Allison Wolfe has always kept the bar very high in terms of punk energy. I have seen them a few times, and I will miss Wolfe’s ferocious assaults and her crazy (but always impressive) acrobatics. As usual, she was restless, playing her queen of dissonance, as her vocals, combined with her chaotic dance, have always perfectly embodied the infectious rhythms and angular guitars of their powerful cacophony… they are about to break up but they played nevertheless a new song, which tells everything you need to know about Ex-Stains… too bad, we hardly knew you.
Cat Scan gave their most powerful and high-energy performance ever, at least the loudest and most boisterous I have seen so far. The hot band has strangely dissonant chord progressions, abrupt tempo changes and they bark their lyrics with a mechanical oddity, not unlike the delivery of the punk new wave,… think B-52s, Talking Heads and even Devo. They took this old style and turned it around powerful riffs, creative dissonance, groovy tempos and mad accelerations. Fast seemed to be the theme of the last songs, and if some interesting and disarticulated melodies were piercing over the loudness, the rest was all chaos, which naturally launched a crazy mosh pit. Cat Scan are always fun to watch, so catch them when you still are able to, as they have another Monday residency left this month.