Aftermath has said so before, but these days it's all about Rocky Moon & Bolt. We hadn't seen the brand-new local glam-rockers since their 20-minute debut at Walter's back in March, but came away from Bolt's set at Boondocks' second-anniversary bash Sunday night even more impressed than before. Rocky and friends immediately struck Aftermath as a continuation of the extraterrestrial Little Richard of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars LP, but that may have been a little off. Bolt was still Bowie, but this time we heard a harder edge more like "Suffragette City" and 1976's "TVC-15." Although Suffragette" does appear on Ziggy - thanks, commenters; guess we weren't as off as we thought we were - we'll go ahead and throw 1974' "Diamond Dogs" in there while we're at it. Heady, rocking stuff, full of Bolanesque swagger in the riffs and lyrics.
Bolt has now been beefed up with the addition of redheaded Cassie Hargrove on keys, and although she had a devil of a time being heard over the heavy power chords and Jeoaf Johnson's formidable drums and constant cymbal crashes, the extra boogie-woogie her piano parts brought didn't go unnoticed. More impressively, while the band sounded like it was about to break into "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture Show (Rocky Moon... Rocky Horror?) at any moment, Bolt did so with a minimum of camp. This may be a function of economics more than anything else - get these guys (and girl) a decent wardrobe budget and stand back - but Aftermath suspects otherwise. Bolt's relentless rock and roll is fully capable of raising eyebrows on its own, and once that song about Vampires reaches the right ears, the band might even have a legitimate hit on its hands.
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Boondocks has a special place in Aftermath's heart, because it opened around the same time we moved to town and because it caters to a crowd that doesn't care if the music is classic rock, indie-rock, metal or rap, live or DJ-produced, so long as it's loud and there's plenty of it. (The $2 Lone Stars are nice too, we must admit.) We got all of it Sunday.
Besides Bolt, Whorehound smoked with gnarly, grizzled metal that was by turns thrashy and sludgy, except for a moment when the trio downshifted into some bluesy Soundgarden-like grunge. Nosaprise, who has just been added to our HPMA showcase, closed out the night with some fluid, far-sighted rhymes over both Black Sabbath and classical music samples (was that Bach's Goldberg Variations?) and Kam singing her hearty hooks from a wheelchair. And we're still trying to figure out how we missed the obvious Beach Boys connection in Springfield Riots, whose opening set was even stronger than last Tuesday at the Mink. There might have been a better way to spend a Sunday evening, but Aftermath can't think of many offhand. (The grill was going all night out on the patio too... for donations) But he does know this: the next time somebody complains there's nothing going on in the local music scene, just point 'em to Boondocks and see if they don't change their minds.