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martin wong
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The Binges and Night Horse at The Echo

The Binges and Night Horse at The Echo
Saw The Binges again on Thursday night. It's been at least a few months since the last time I caught them, and it was great to be blasted by some fresh songs, check out the powerful new drummer, and see them at The Echo with Night Horse. I've been pushing the band hard for a long time now, but can't say I'm always happy with the cheesy venues they've played in the past. Yes, the sound is great at places like the Viper Room but that's more of an industry showcase/wannabe rockstar sort of stage than a cool club. They need to play at dirtier places with grittier bands, and this show had both. And, of course, Mayuko (above) and Tsuzumi (below) totally lit up the joint with their ferocious axework.

Dylan is an awesome front guy. He has a full-on rock voice and delivery, but I felt like he was rather subdued last night. If there's such thing as hiding behind a skinny little mic, he did it, cupping his hands over it and obscuring most of his face most of the time. Not a bad thing--and I prefer that to singers who just pose. Maybe he's just letting the sisters do their thing these days. True rippers, I'm guessing they got mobbed at NAMM over the weekend... The GIT crowd might appreciate them the most, but they deserve even more.

There's nothing like when they rock out side-by-side. For some reason (lack of skills), I couldn't get decent shots with given light so I had to resort to flash. Oh well. Apologies to the bands for blinding them. Maybe I should have stepped back? I got a few decent ones of the headliner, Night Horse, that way later on. Then again, they don't move around as much. I was a fan of singer Sam Velde's previous stoner-rock band, Bluebird, and liked what I heard from NH's releases on Tee Pee. Like The Binges, they play irony-free, virtuoso-level, full-on classic rock that doesn't sound like covers. They add a slightly southern twang along with post-Sonic Youth, post-Soundgarden tweaking... Rad to finally see them do it onstage.

The combination of The Binges' headbang-inducing shredding and Night Horse's ass-shaking heavy groove was a good one. Great to take in a couple hours of '70s rock reimagined in 2010 on Sunset Blvd.--now in Echo Park not the Strip but more bitchin' than ever. "Is that Freedom Rock?" "Well, turn it up, man!"

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