Three To See

Here are just three great, original St. Louis bands that play around town on a regular basis. Check them out as soon as you can.

Brandy Johnson | Johnson has been playing consistently good shows in the St. Louis area for quite some time. Whether performing solo acoustic or with a full band, she has found receptive audiences that have taken a liking to her unique songwriting style. She does a great job of mixing a variety of folk, country, and rock influences into her strong melodies. On any given night, she can play through a long list of originals that all sound like they belong on the radio; she possesses a manner of addressing the audience as if the clubgoers were guests in her living room. In addition to performing her own songs, Johnson isn’t afraid to throw a few cover tunes into the mix.

The Lab | If Kevin Barry’s new band The Lab was put together as an experiment, I’d say the results are quite conclusive. Barry sings and plays guitar in his own distinct style. Though the band’s overall sound is solid, melodic rock, Barry’s voice is so distinct and the melodies are so haunting, it’s hard to even think of a comparison. Their songs are so original and striking, they’re sure to make a positive impression on listeners. Drummer Matt Hickenbotham and guitarist Jon Armstrong, both former members of Colony, bring a lot of energy to the stage; the live show is nothing short of professional. Jeff Church’s bass lines remain solid and well played as he grooves around the stage. The Lab has cooked up something good for the St. Louis music scene; it’s just a matter of time before the industry takes notice.

The Flea Bitten Bastards | The Flea Bitten Bastards’ sound is described as “hardcore street punk” Their mix of distorted guitar and heavy drumbeats is so ferocious, it’s likely to kick a person’s heartbeat into overdrive. It’s no surprise they have song titles like “F-off” in their set. Lead singer Albino Bastard has a strong stage presence and personality; his in-between song banter often condemns mellow indie rock and emo music fans. Lifelong fans of punk rock will no doubt be satisfied by the group’s “punk rock pride,” but their appeal extends beyond a single genre. There’s something about their performances that will leave people talking—and even writing—about them.

Notes | Last month’s writeup of Catatonic listed Aaron Walker as lead singer. Lance Ferrell replaced Walker eight months ago. I also wish to thank the staff at the Rec Room for making my Wrestlemania viewing experience so enjoyable this month. | John Kujawski

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply