Live Review: Dressy Bessy, the Fire Drills & the Pseudo Dates

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Dressy Bessy, the Fire Drills and the Pseudo Dates Bluebird Theater Saturday, October 18, 2008

Better than: listening to it in your headphones

When Tammy Ealom started singing about a gal obsessed with the ‘60s in the song “Do You Whisper?” on Saturday night, it was hard not to think the song was, well, about Ealom herself. In most photos of the band you’ll find Ealom decked out in a ‘60s-inspired get-up and she plays a Hagstrom II guitar from the era as well. You can also hear it in a lot of the bouncy pop tunes she’s written over the last decade.

But on the band’s new album, Holler and Stomp, that ‘60s thing just ain’t quite as prevalent as it’s been on previous albums. Buy hey, musicians have to grow and with that comes change. While the music gotten a tad edgier and harder and some of the bubblegum pop has been shaved off, Ealom, guitarist John Hill (who also plays in Apples in Stereo), bassist Rob Greene and company still put on a hell of energetic show.

They ran through nearly the entire new album, tossed in few awesome cuts from their 2003’s self-titled album like “This May Hurt (A Little),” “Baby Six String,” and “Just Once More,” as well as a few from Electrified. And if that wasn’t enough, the band pulled out “Extra-Ordinary” from its 1999 debut album, Pink Hearts Yellow Moons.

Although the band hasn’t played much in Denver in that past few months (except for the Monolith Festival last month) since they’ve been touring like mad for the new album. They were only in Denver for a few days before heading back on the road for a two-week mid-west tour.

Before Dressy Bessy’s set, the Fire Drills played a 20-minute set of short and punchy pop-tunes tunes. While these guys have only played a few gigs since playing their first show in July, they’re tight as hell. But that’s kind of expected with guys like guitarist Jason Heller (who also plays with Red Cloud West) and drummer Rob Burleson (of Lion Sized and d. biddle) fueling the fire. At times singer/guitarist Brandon Richier (of the Omens) sounded like fIREHOSE’s Ed Crawford fronting the Buzzcocks.

The Pseudo Dates opened the night with a solid set as well. They’ve been laying down their garage pop as a trio for the last year, but recently added Fissure Mystic’s Taylor Rice into the fold as an additional guitarist. Rice’s psychedelic atmospherics worked wonderfully while Suzi Allegra (who also plays in Fissure Mystic and My Sister Outlaw) and Nathan Brazil traded off vocal duties.

-Jon Solomon

Critic’s Notebook Personal bias: I think it’s damn good that Dressy Bessy hails from our fair city.

Random notes: Near the end of Dressy Bessy’s set, Ealom called up a bunch of people from the crowd to dance on stage.

By the way: Dressy Bessy wraps up its tour Vail on November 14 and in Ft. Collins on November 15.

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