Reverberations Extra: The Love Me Nots, etc. Live at Rudyard’s

What’s so wrong about some young guys in love with the reverb knob?

When, like Black Black Gold, they’re helping carry on the legacy of Texas garage, nothing at all. BBG may lack polish, but they make up the difference with energy and a fine set of ears, and Thursday night at Rudyard’s played a solid 20-minute set. They closed with a cover of the Sonics’ "Strychnine" – a painfully obvious choice, but just who in the hell ever gripes about hearing "Strychnine"?

The always stout Born Liars came on next with mean ass solos, wrist thick riffs and frontman Jimmy Sanchez’s sweat drenched abandon, playing a set so lacking in flaws that it seemed to even make the band suspicious.

Photos by Chris Henderson

The buzzbomb guitar of headliners the Love Me Nots’ Michael Johnny Walker’s guitar couldn’t have been any louder. "It sounds like his amp is inside my head," accurately quipped my girlfriend. The Phoenix quartet’s set was absolutely searing, the only obstructions to momentum being an unfortunate series of percussion malfunctions, namely one of the most spiteful and insubordinate hi hats to ever appear in concert.

Beyond a minute or two of forced chit chat, the energy never waned. The Love Me Nots sometimes sound like a garage band, sometimes play songs written for fictional James Bond films, and oftentimes end up in a frenzied territory that recalls a fuzzed out, psycho surf rock, with the band’s female half adding a quality that makes you wonder how the Carrie Nations might’ve ended up, had they more street smarts and been a band that actually rocked (or even an actual rock band).

Frontwoman Nicole Laurenne manages to purr and growl simultaneously, bassist Christina Nunez is rock solid and Jay Lien was either working out aggression due to the equipment issues, or he just always plays like he’s trying to crack the skins. Fittingly, the set ended with Lien doing a showman’s somersault over his kit and Laurenne’s Farfisa stand finally giving in to the abuse, forcing her to finish the last song while kneeling.

Which sounds a lot like a made up ending, so I suppose it’s a good thing we’ve got pictures.

Be sure to head back to Rudyard’s this weekend: Saturday, leader of the legendary Lazy Cowgirls, Pat Todd, brings The Rank Outsiders to town before heading off to San Antonio and then SXSW. Sunday, it’s Deer Park’s The Gold Sounds, Bipolaroid and The Black Hollies. – Chris Henderson