Last last Friday I basically found myself not wanting to leave my apartment – take it easy, cook some food, play some tunes – that would have been a satisfactory night for me. That little bugger on my shoulder doesn’t exactly think the same way though, so we compromised – a small trip to Yugong Yishan – to check out The Amazing Insurance Salesmen, whom I haven’t seen since the 2010 Global Battle of the Bands, Devils at the Crossroad, always a good time, and newly formed Dwaas. Yeah, this is me taking it easy.
Dwaas hit the sweet spot for me – it’s basically like the accumulation of all the music I listened to in high school – and for that I immediately fell for it. And I couldn’t quite put my finger on what specifically it reminded me of, but all I know is that it got me nostalgic – I didn’t realize how much I missed this sound.
Someone took the best aspects of a jam band, added some post-rock structure and demeanor, and then topped it off with a bit of emo (hate using this word) angst and you got yourselves a newfound fan over here. While most bands stream-line their post-rock sound, or go full angst mode with a boyish curly haired singer, these guys have found that sweet juicy center and work that shit. All three guitarist are solid up there, changing the tempo with ease numerous times throughout a song, and giving ample breathing room for each to strut their stuff. Not bad for a first show eh, definitely will be checking these boys out in the near future.
Next up were Devils at the Crossroad, and I think we all know what to expect from these guys. Goofy, fun, and slightly psychotic – they knew how to work the crowd with their brand of highly accessible stoner rock.
It was a surprise how many songs I knew already (I had only seen them once before) – goes to show just how catchy some of their songs are, as simple as they may be. Front man Joris is a hoot to watch, staring down the crowd with intense malice while the bassist Marco, rips though a solo.
Nevertheless, there is a part of me that worries that they sound ‘too tight’ – which makes sense considering the legwork they’ve been putting in this year, but at the same time could make it seem like their going through the motions – too early to tell for sure, especially since this was only my second outing with the devils. In the end Devils at the Crossroad goes down smooth like a shot of Southern Comfort.
Last up were The Amazing Insurance Salesmen, and boy how these boys have grown. Seriously, their intro song is one the coolest intros ever
AIS are like if a blues house band said fuck it one day and instead utilized all their skills to create a funky, crisp, dark, melodic, progressive sound that pays respect to many of the great instrumentalists and genres yet feels fresh and original. I could watch these three jam for hours are probably be enthralled. Bassist Maikel is simply a beast up there – just watch him rape that bass on “Escape”
Really though, no one stuck out – even Zhang Si’an, who has been making a name for himself over the past year with his solo projects, or Mao Mao on drums who seemed barely able to contain himself on the drums – all three played effortlessly together.
Good to have them back! A side complaint -Yugong Yishan simply did not do them justice tonight – I was hoping to restrain myself from jumping on the hate wagon, but everything sounds so warped and echoed through their sound system.
An easy night for me? Perhaps not, but I’m glad I made the trip and got to hear some good tunes close to home – check out below for another video of The Amazing Insurance Salesmen.