The Summer Series at Industry City, Brooklyn put on a group show with an obvious nautical motif perfect for the beach bar setup bathing in the Sun deep in Sunset Park. Despite their similarly themed names, these were three drastically different bands brought together with the shared desire to rock out.
Opening the show was one of the hardest working bands on the Brooklyn rock circuit, the power party trio of Sharkmuffin. If you haven’t seen this scuttle-shuffling band yet, then you have obviously been trapped in your apartment for the last decade, and you clearly need to be rescued. The power-duo of childhood friends singer/guitarist Tarra Thiessen and bassist Natalie Kirch started tearing it up along the Jersey shore way back when, but have been a dominating fixture of the Brooklyn music scene for years now, and these days you can’t help but trip over one of their shows anywhere you go in town, as it seems as though there’s almost no venue or part of town you can’t see them play on any given day. Since their early days, they’ve gone through more drummers than I can count, but their latest is proving to be quite the kick in the ass the band needed, in the form of the brightly shining Jordyn Blakely, who is also known for her kick-ass work in bands like Maneka, Jackal Onasis, Kino Kimino, and Stove, and she does really help bring their raw, bouncy, head trip of a sound together. Their recent Gamma Gardening EP is a perfect case of a glorious chaos, with more trippy edge than their previous work, and just like their older stuff, it’s hard not to adore.
Next up was the real glorious kick to the head of the whole show, in the form of the local trouble-makers known as Surfbort, and they kicked so much ass that it was hard to deny their total dominance of the whole highly absurd show. This is a band that needs to be seen to the heard, but not comprehended to be understood, and if you try to really get into their method of madness, you’d be running a fool’s errand. This is a band built on a riotous mix of absurd trashy sarcasm, and yet they still find ways to hold it together long enough to melt your face off. Extreme contrasts are the very core of their music, with David Head, Alex Kilgore, and Sean Powell playing the part of the middle-aged rockers armed with macho mustaches and concrete musical expertise that crank out a blistering and raw punk energy with classic rocking vibes. Contrarily, you have the much younger and extremely free-spirited frontwoman Dani Miller, who often comes off as a wacked out punker’s fever dream, but she dominates the stage wherever and whenever she performs, and I guarantee she will mesmerize you in her insanity. Her “no fucks to give” attitude is magnetic and her unbridled silliness is awe-inspiring. It’s easy to tell why she’s become such a shining star, a burning sun you just can’t look away from, but it is a bit surprising how much she’s managed to cross over to mainstream notoriety, even turning her unconventional gap-toothed charm into becoming a full-fledged Gucci model. On their latest EP You Don’t Exist, her songs ravage the soul with deep subjects like politics, sexuality, mental health, and social media, and yet they still manage to retain that particular sarcastic, bizarre, and weirdo edge that has always made their music such a hoot.
When the San Diego garage-pop band Wavves took to the stage, a tsunami of their younger hardcore fans flooded the audience of local natives still shell-shocked by the Surfbort set, and they were all clearly ready to get rowdy to the headliner’s party anthems. This SoCal four-piece is known for their high-octane sound with songs most often about drugs, irresponsibility, and hopelessness, which can certainly equate to a fun time given the right circumstances, but when the party is over it can often get messy. The band’s lead singer, Nathan Williams, who once declared himself “King of the Beach” and has a reputation for recklessness, on-road drama, heavy drug use, and general debauchery, which obviously appealed to his crowed back when. However, now that he’s now often singing to a fandom largely at least half his age, his whole persona seems a bit off-putting. Still, after several albums of solid youth anthems, it becomes clear why they rock out to that certain age group. It was only a couple years ago that they imploded and broke up, then got back to together for another album, then spun away again. Now they’re back, not with any new material yet, but I feel like this is more of a dipping their feet back in the water than a full-fledge reunion. Williams was clearly off his best at first, even leaving the rest of the band hanging on stage calling out his name for at least half an hour before the set actually started, and only really barely staying on the board rather than hanging ten with full power. He was clearly not feeling the ground swell at first, all though the rest of the band were staying on course and staying dynamic, with guitarist Alex Gates and bassist Stephen Pope thrashing in a blistering form throughout, and by the time they got to classics like “Post Acid,” “Sail to the Sun,” “Green Eyes,” and even a surprisingly appropriate cover of Blink‐182’s “Dammit” they were all going full steam ahead with Williams finally getting his head back in the game.
Article: Dean Keim