It was one of those Sunday nights at the Mercury Lounge in New York’s Lower East Side – four bands that bring a little bit of everything, and each a different vibe than the next. And nothing that night was going to be quite like the first act up: Unusual Squirrel.
Unusual Squirrel is the latest project of poet John S. Hall, the former mastermind of King Missile. The four piece is a slow, slow burn set to the wicked and silly wit of Hall in spoken word format. From the start to finish there was one main theme: fucking. Whether it was the use of it as a noun, verb, or adjective or, to paraphrase Hall: just fucking so good that if it was porn you couldn’t masturbate to it. Oh, part of the fucking theme was reminding the crowd that he’d rather they not fuck during the set. I’m pretty sure there was no danger of that happening, I think. Throw in a tale of Hall explaining his encounter with G.G. Allin – think laxatives – and you’ve got a start to the night unlike most you’re likely to encounter.
Next up was a new New York outfit, Supervicious. Crunchy, grungy percussion fueled rock that leaves you wanting more. Lead singer Christian Biron is tall, lanky, and seems to have a quirky step as he moves across the stage. His voice has a deep echo-y quality that takes you by surprise. The tunes are rocking, at times verging from chaotic to classic rock to new wavy post punk.
Third up was All Night Sounds. A band steeped in an apparent love of metal, thrash, and giant paper mache-looking owl masks. Oh and an apparent love for beer and drinking, according to lead singer Kevin Downy. You can see an enthusiasm on the face of each band member of that All Night Sounds. None more so than drummer Dan Quatraro, who wails away with an intensity that draws you immediately to his movements and most importantly his wild fills and rim rattles.
The last act on the bill was New York based Carleigh Jade. Jade packs a booming sultry voice and a ton of stage presence. Jade lives in the space where blues and rock meet. Just like the place where your cigarette meets the bourbon droplets that remain on your lips after your last sip. You know, the kind that tastes oh so good. She can vamp, dance, and howl all night long. And it’s a joy to watch the interplay between Jade and her bassists as they go back and forth, seemingly during almost every tune. The musicians accompanying her know their trades well. Between their deft music making and Jade’s draw you in voice, you’ll be craving one more shot and smoke to close off the night.
Article: Omar Kasrawi