My friend Dan plays with me in Sorry I'm Dead, but he also has a band called The Spectres. The Spectres released a tape this year, a follow-up to their 2014 effort, What Will It Be?. This one is on King Pizza Records, and it is called Baby, You're Too Pretty To Rumble, which is a sick name. The album starts strong, and the production is great. I won't go through each track, but I will say that I give it a Good overall, with some of the standouts being "Queeny" (I love the banter at the end), "Night Goes Rollin By", "Girl, I Want Your Love", "Attack of the Allegheny Gill-Man", "Hot-Rod", "Baby, You're Too Pretty to Rumble" (haunting Farfisa sounds), "Phil Spector" (a wall-less song that could have been recorded by the infamous producer), and "Drive-In, Tonight" (nice Ramones-esque "let's go!"). I guess the only songs that I don't like so much are "I'm a Hog 4 U" and "Cocktail Shaker", but they are more average than anything. It's a very driving, rocking album of fun garage rock just in time for the summer.
The release show for Baby, You're Too Pretty To Rumble was a month ago, May 27th, at Howlers. I got to the show just in time to see the first band, Franny Moon, who I had never seen before. I was impressed! Franny Moon is made up of some members of the longtime Pittsburgh band, Robin Vote. While Robin Vote sort of sounds like electric Dylan, Franny Moon is a snapshot of an encounter between Jonathan Richman and Ed Schrader. Franny Moon glides along a lunar field without a clear pathway; I enjoyed the freeform nature of the songs that seemed based more on rhythms than guitar hero chord progressions. This freeform, jammy section was played quietly, and then they went into a few country songs, one dedicated to the recently deceased Greg Allman. It sounds strange, but it all made sense together.
The Spectres were next. They played their cool garage rock, and it was pretty rockin' that night. Despite being only a two-piece, the band sounded very full, with great guitar tones and stuttering reverb. It was a driving set, with not a lot of slowdown. The new songs sounded good, just like on the tape! Dan used an organ for some of the tracks too! The Spectres are always great.
Finally, Jiant Eagle, a band named after a grocery store (Giant Eagle), set up for the last set of the night. Jiant Eagle had a power-pop sound like one of those CBGB bands that didn't end up on a Hot Topic t-shirt. I liked the classic guitar lines and the vocals. At times they resembled the Dictators or Big Star. It was pretty garage-y too. I definitely want to see this band more often.
I was happy that the show was short; I felt pretty tired going in, but afterward, I felt much better. Still, it was nice to get in and get out. All three bands were good, and I was glad to see two new bands, both within the palette of sounds that I enjoy. Buy the Spectres tape if you are so inclined.