Aftermath: Hungry Villagers at Boondocks

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Aftermath thinks the thing he likes the most about new bands is the sheer lack of pretense and ego. We love it when bands do sound check five minutes before they play to two dozen friends upstairs at a bar, with no setlist to be seen. Only armed with the songs they've been fine-tuning for months, setting them just so like a painting on a wall.

We are upstairs at Boondocks for what will be only Hungry Villagers' third show, after spending close to half a year in a studio behind Ikea off I-10 working on a demo, and now an EP for the spring. Houck brothers Jake and Abe trade off vocal duties, or Abe backing Jake with ghostly vocal howls. 

Tonight, with an added bassist, everything sounds even more ominous. "Stranger on the Throne" takes time to dig in, but when it does Jake's Johnny Marr-like plinking turns the Television on with a "Little Johnny Jewel"-style jam. Martial drumming with odd time-signatures coupled with a adventurous growl from Abe, on "Little Fingers" sound like Arcade Fire covering something off of Iggy's The Idiot with a harmonic howl.

That's another thing we love about bands just learning to walk. You can follow the evolutionary line, with song starting out as a timid creature and steadily growing into three minutes of muscle and clamor. Hungry Villagers have just taken that first step. - Craig Hlavaty

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