Saturday August 19th 2017

The Double Whoa Sevens / Red Mantis / The Straight Eights / Offworld


The Double Whoa Sevens / Red Mantis / The Straight Eights / Offworld
Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA          7/1/17


This is the evening show of a double header I’m attending at the luxurious, Midway Cafe. As I’ve explained previously, the reason I attend so many Midway shows is that I live in the basement of the club.

Therefore, travel expenses are nearly nil for TNB, and we can use the money we save in transportation, hotels and traveling, in providing even more enjoyable and more informative news and entertainment for all our loyal readers.

Or we could just spend it on beer.

Tonight is a very mixed night of musical approaches and genres. I’ll do my best to navigate us through all the entwining styles.

OffWorld is the first band to play and they have a white sheet as a backdrop that they play futuristic films upon- you know, robots marching in formation to disembowel Martian ostriches, that sort of thing.

And the trio of musicians all have matching navy blue jumpsuits, most likely alluding to the Devo vibe, but unfortunately, only makes me think of garage mechanics.

The female singer is decked out in a form fitting white spacesuit that she switches into a silver one mid set. (Think of Jane Fonda in the great movie, Barbarella).

I listened to their bandcamp, beforehand, so I’m surprised to see no synthesizers- but when I see that the bassist has six pedals and the guitarist more than him, I figure they can obtain that sound quite easily.

You may be shocked when I tell you they play space rock. I won’t be shocked if you don’t know what the hell that is.

It’s long, mostly instrumental songs dominated by synthesizers. Check out “Krautrock” to get an idea or Lemmy’s first band Hawkwind is an excellent example. For myself, Kraftwerk is one of my favorite bands but I don’t appreciate a whole lot more of the style.

But I can say this is the best space rock band I know in Boston, but I must qualify that with, this is the only space rock band I know, as well.

The Straight Eights, who I’ve had the priviledge of seeing a couple of times, are next and they play straight ahead punk’n’roll.

They are a band that combines different influences of punk, metal and hardcore. (Where have I heard that before???).

In fact, I notice tonight that the singer, with his Circle Jerks t-shirt, barks his vocals in a brash/hardcore way. And the guitarist uses his whammy bar and fret leads across the neck in a decidedly, metal style. While the drummer bashes out, traditional early punk/garage rhythms.

All I can say for sure, is all of this jells, really well, and they are always a fun band to see live with great tunes like “Over The Edge” and “I Hear You Barking.” And like the last time I saw them they end their great set with a cover of a Twisted Sister song, “Shoot ‘Em Down.”

Red Mantis is up and along with Sex Orgy Death Crash, they are my two favorite new bands from Providence. They play heavy, headbangin’ metal with hardcore vocals, while doom and noise elements are added to the mix. Some songs even glide along at a pace of hardcore/thrash bliss.

They have Jaime on guitar, playing some neat, involved guitar lines; Amy on drums, proving, once again that girls can do heavy lifting, musically, as well or better, in the case here, than the boys can. They also have a nimble bassist and an engaging, excellent singer who is not donning a wrestling mask like the last time I saw them live.

They turn in a powerful, awesome set with the added attraction of when their friend, Luis, enters the club mid set, donning a red devil’s costume.

The last band to end my day is a Misfit’s tribute band called The Double Whoa Seven’s.

Now, I’m quite aware who James Bond was and 007, but I’m unclear how that fits in with The Misfits.

I must admit at this time that Andy and I were never Misfits fans in the eighties, never listened to them and were barely aware of who they were.

Derek, one of the club’s excellent soundmen, explains to me that they really weren’t that popular during their initial run.

I mention to him that whenever I hear a band cover them, like their song “Skull”, I end up liking the version by the band that I’m seeing much more than the original version by The Misfits. Derek points out that he feels the lack of money from record company support led to poor production on their albums.

I think I’m probably the least qualified person in the club, right now, to judge a Misfits cover band. That being said, I can say this band sounds tight and lively and knows how to play and the crowd is responding, very enthusiastically- so I can only surmise that they’re doing a great job.

And I can say, most certainly, that if like The Misfits than you, most certainly, will like this band.

But I can also say, it’s been a fun day but a long one- and I’m out.


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