Primasonic, Get Three Coffins Ready, Jett Black Larimer Lounge November 23, 2007
Summation: In baseball, one for three is actually pretty good.
An empty bar can be a double-edged sword. You don't have to fight for elbow room when you belly up. But when it's Friday night on Thanksgiving weekend, and you're at a local music venue that's known to pack shows with six bands on the bill just to bring as many friends of the band as possible, you have to take stock of your surroundings and wonder why the place is so dead.
Primasonic was my first answer. Taking the stage, its frontman declared that the outfit was there to regale the crowd with “shitty radio rock.” As performance tactics go, setting the bar ankle high for the audience is one that really only works when your self-deprecation is really just false modesty meant to endear the audience. When you take the stage and say “we suck” and then proceed to follow through on that promise, you succeed only in driving beer sales at the other end of the bar. Not only was this shitty radio rock, it was shitty radio rock executed poorly. Imagine your brain on drugs and you can envision the synaptic pauses between chord changes that were constantly tripped up in this band's central nervous system.
Undaunted by shitty radio rock and the fact that the bartender ignored several of my requests to put the Nuggets game on the tele, I got myself off the barstool to witness a band of a completely different order, Get Three Coffins Ready, whose biggest asset is its precision, followed only by how much fun the members appear to have riffing their way through a surf punk that you can't help but nod your head to. Lead guitarist Gill Romero nimbly ripped through hollow-bodied, fuzzed-out goodness -- though it was hard to tell unless you stood directly in front of his amp as the sound guy obviously mistook whose guitar work anchors this band. But it was fine, because rhythm master Adam Hester wailed enough on his own while drummer Rikki Styxx and bassist Jeff Anton beat out a tenacious low end that was hard to ignore. The five people in room all agreed that this was worth the price of the door and then some.
And then the bottom fell out again. It was Jett Black's DVD release party and they promised the first 150 people through the door a free copy. That means everyone was most likely eligible for fifteen copies each. Jett Black's only real boon is that the band plays its ho-hum brand of straight up rock and roll tightly. But mere competency does not merit high praise. The act worked its way through a set of songs I've heard too many times before from far too many other Jett Blacks. And then I found the music's true calling. Sitting at the bar, Maker's and rocks in my hand, I ran into a good friend I hadn't seen in months. Generic rock and roll as our soundtrack, we got dumb on hooch and I watched my boy get shot down by not one, but two of the kind of women who make you glad to be alive.
-- Sean Cronin
Critic’s Notebook: Personal Bias: An empty bar and painless background music is fine by me. Random Detail: Get Three Coffins drummer Rikki flipped me off with a smile on her face while I was snapping pictures of the band. By the Way: Get Three Coffins Ready is slated to open up for Agent Orange December 12 at Bluebird Theater.