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Over the weekend: Nobunny at Denver Creative Co-Op Studio

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Nobunny, Thee Goochi Boiz, Lust Cats of the Gutters, Shanty Vamps, the Manxx
Friday, August 21, 2009
Denver Creative Co-op Studio
Better than:
A persistent case of scabies

I didn't get to the show Friday night in time to catch opening act The Manxx, but I certainly didn't leave thinking I'd had anything short of enough garage rock. If the MC5 itself had played a nine-hour set in the prison cell of my own personal hell, I couldn't have left more satiated.

Okay, it wasn't that bad. It wasn't bad at all, really. But I was tired, and the warehouse was really hot.

I arrived right before Shanty Vamps' set, and they opened with a slew of tunes that, as Noah Van Sciver (who happened to be at the show) pointed out, would've fit right in at Epitaph Records, circa mid '90s. From the four-major-chord melodies to the shouty, slightly-off key vocals to the high, metallic basslines, all the elements of that Rancid-Pennywise-Antiflag sound were right there. Nothing new, exactly, but well-executed, high-energy and pleasant enough to watch.

As indicated by the name and confirmed by tunes like "Meet my Unreasonable Demands," a thirty-second blast consisting of two chords and that lyric, Lust Cats of the Gutters is riot grrl at its most unadulterated. The musicianship was not what you would call virtuosic--most of the songs had to be started over after the first try--but the two girls of Lust Cats, despite their obvious nervousness, managed to nevertheless exude a magnetic sort of sincerity that won me over. And I wasn't the only one -- Lust Cats had the crowd dancing.

Performing in skull makeup á la the Misfits and the drummer decked out, for some reason, in tiki lights, Thee Goochi Boiz -- spelled as such, presumably, to avoid confusion with the several similarly named hip-hop groups out there -- brought it from firmly established punk rock to a more '60s-rooted garage sound. With 2/4 beats replaced with 4/4 and Ramones-esque oh-oh-oh vocal melodies, the band reminded me more than a little of the Black Lips, particularly in terms of spectacle -- the set concluded with the guitarist jumping into the drum kit.

If Goochi Boiz established the Black Lips factor, Nobunny upped it by ten, albeit with less of the disgusting and more of the just strange. Performing in a, um, bunny mask, one kneepad, one women's shoe, and no pants, Nobunny's attire far outstripped the weirdness of his sound, which was similar in tone and influence to that of Thee Goochi Boiz, except for more polished and rehearsed. It was garage rock well done, and though I was tired and a little garage rocked-out, I couldn't help a little dancing.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK
Personal Bias:
I am a sucker for weird-ass stage antics
Random Detail: There happened to be two other Westword folks at the show--Tom Murphy and Noah Van Sciver
By the Way: Rock n Roll Adventure Kids was scheduled to play as well, but didn't--the reason for their absence wasn't clear.

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