Aftermath: Davila 666, Puerto Rican Garage Punk Badasses

It's been a good while since Aftermath could be seen dancing in front of a band, let alone anywhere in public. Sure, there have been the stray moments at Boondocks where he shook his ass for the last thirty seconds of a Stones song, but that was pretty much it.

Last night at Mango's, during Davila 666's nearly hour-long garage punk assault, not only was Aftermath dancing, he could also be seen hip-shaking and hand-clapping. It's hard to quantify exactly what it was about Davila 666's sound that made him girate like he was an extra on American Bandstand in 1965. Hell, just posting that YouTube video below kinda made us shake our breakfast a little.

The Puerto Rican-bred band covered every single major monolithic garage base for that hour last night. Lead singer Charles Davila stalked the stage like a cross between Tomata du Plenty of the late lamented Screamers and the Hives' Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, in all their hyperbolic baby howl and haughty hip-swiveling. Turn-ons are horribly hard to come by on a Monday night, but Davila brought the pain. Never mind that one out of 11 songs was in English.

Video Courtesy of Edson Sanchez

Five sweaty Latin dudes on stage are bound to bring some weird-ass funk. Dingy bass, hand claps, random broken instruments, and back-up vocalist/tambourine man Panda Davila jumping from mike to mike was the order of the night. The whole time we were watching Davila we kept mentally writing this review in our head, and it wasn't until they introduced a song that they wrote in "back in 1976" did things become crystal clear.

When they covered the Dead Boys' scuzz-punk classic "All This and More" was when we put down the bottle and started shaking that ass, as the kids would say. The nail was hit firmly on the head, affirming just what these kids were capable of. This wasn't some boring indie workout. There were no pretensions and no posing, except the good rock 'n roll kind.

Lead singer Davila embodies the kind of front man that many indie kids may not have the salt to pull off, which is a damned shame. Lessons were learned last night hopefully. "Callejon" was the Stooges straight outta Search And Destroy, full of rolled R's and near militaristic detail to groove. Every song was beaten to a bloody pulp until their instruments or their bodies broke from exhaustion.

In 1970, these boys would have had the MC5 opening for them, and Iggy Pop would be waxing nostalgic about every single gig he followed them to for every VH1 camera that would listen.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty