Review: The Vault (12.19)


Sometimes you gotta walk to rock shows.

Words by Jamie Baird

The first official day of winter is not for another 24 hours and already we are in snowstorm season here in Milwaukee. When the inches and inches of cold misery fall, you have two choices. Don’t leave your house, or make sure to leave your house. Since purchasing snow boots last year, I try my hardest to exercise option #2. I would rather haggle with the weather than become a hermit.

Friday night at the Vault was a testament to others’ desire to also make sure winter is as lively and fun as summer, with a The Show Will Go On And We Even Broke a Shovel Trying to Make Life Easier For You kind of night, featuring Milwaukee bands Bored Games, Possible Fathers, Pigs On Ice and Minneapolis’ Bird Sounds. With a packed house inside making everyone warmer, and nature’s soundproofing coating the ground outside, the solid line up did not disappoint in rocking or loudness …

Bored Games features the powerhouse song writing duo of Addie Skeris [Lefty Loosie] and Ben Kastner [Jambox, Munsen Burners] backed by rhythm section Logan Byrne [Uh-Oh] and Jeff VanDreel [Beach Patrol]. The songs are catchy as hell power pop, 60s sunshine and surf with modern punk DIY sensibility. This is a band you need to become a fan of and as last night was only their second show, which means you have already missed out twice, so don’t make the same mistake thrice!

Possible Fathers, featuring members of Freight and Big Fun, set the pace for the rest of the night [see: noise] showering upon us boundless energy with their wonderfully messy, noisy, no-frills garage rock, which reminded one John Hanson of the Lee Harvey Oswald Band. I would have to concur that to be an apt observation.

Bird Sounds made it from Minneapolis, or maybe somewhere else in the midst of a tour, but either way, “plowed” [heh] through the snow and to play their equally noisy and harder edged rock reminiscent of Drive Like Jehu and the like.

Pigs On Ice are fast becoming a local favorite, and with good reason. Although the world angular may become overused eventually in describing them, angular they are, pure art post-punk channeling everything from The Fall to the Talking Heads [and themselves suggesting comparisons to The Birthday Party are spot on]. As the night morphed from warm roundness to hard corners and staccato rhythms, this sharp-performing, highly kinetic band delivered a great finale to what could have just been a cold, wet, miserable and boring day.

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