Brooklyn power trio Dead Stars unleashed their latest album Perfect Patterns with an epic show at Sunnyvale that sent us all to infinity and beyond. The relatively new East Williamsburg venue Sunnyvale has come up in the news recently as the target of some white supremacist idiots disparaging this excellent establishment with some ridiculously nasty reviews on social media, but I’m here to assure all that this is hands down one of the finest concert spots in town. This hotspot has all the best elements of the DIY aesthetic with none of the grime, precarious exits, bars of the worst drinks served of a kitchen counter, and collapsing ceilings. Instead, they have lots of space, great sound, a lengthy and reasonably priced bar, and is most certainly very supportive of all rock n’ roll lifestyles regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, but if you are a neo-nazi, you should absolutely take your bullshit business elsewhere.
Kicking off the evening was a supergroup of local music scene sorts called Fraidycat. Bassist and frontman Andy Kinsey says that he in the early stages of a new project and that this is a transitional group for this one night. Nonetheless, this was an impressive all-star lineup of local artists with the likes of guitarist Frank Rathbone from Sic Tic and Prima, axe-slayer Lyzi Wakefield from Fruit & Flowers, and drummer Chris Mulligan from Parlor Walls. With that kind of firepower, it was hard not to be blown away.
Following that, the BK trio Big Bliss delighted the crowd with a powerhouse sound with urgent tempos that ripped the train straight off the tracks and roared into your ears. In a perfect symmetry between heaven and Earth, guitarist and frontman Tim Race has the goods to become a true rock god with his ethereal harmonies and smooth delivery that glow with the duality against the devilishly sick licks and dark post-punk lyrics.
Next was the absolute madness that is Grim Streaker, who is also a super-grouping of sorts, with members of The Teen Age, Belle Mare, Dinowalrus, and Hiccup; all collecting into a seething and volcanic powder keg of explosive rock power. Vocalist Amelia Bushell is a raucous and potent frontwoman who loses herself in the performance in all the best rowdy and reckless ways. She thrashes about the stage in ways that are part pure party intoxicant, while also cognizant of the performance of the art part, and always ready to rumble with a classic Bikini Kill, Cramps, and L7 feel. They have a killer new EP out called Girl Minority, and it can easily make you bleed for debauchery and scream for more.
Topping it off was Dead Stars, a band that I have been a swooning fan of for quite some time now. They have never failed to produce a powerhouse mixture of catchy powerpop with the hard rockin’ rawness of 90’s post-punk garage with the greatest of ease and poise, and they are going stronger than ever on their newest LP Perfect Patterns.
The band is guitarist and frontman Jeff Moore and his cousin Jaye Moore behind the drums, and John Watterberg swinging the bass. Together they produce a sound so steeped in classic alternative rock, you often find yourself feeling like you know each song before you hear it. They fuzz and buzz shades of Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, and many more, but the color and taste of this impressive trio creates something entirely new in the finished dish. Their new album is masterfully recorded and mixed by one of the absolutely best sound men anywhere Jeff Berner, and this disc gives this band a bit of evolving character development as well, bringing a bit more sunshine into their previously cynical outlook and proving the hooks of powerpop do not mean you can’t rock harder than all the rest if you’re true to yourself.
Article: Dean Keim