Rowdy R- M-
Updated: May 6, 2019
It was already around ten at night when I walked down the basement steps, stumbling onto Ultra Deluxe mid-set. The drummer, big and bearded in a sweat drenched tee, was pounding away and screaming unintelligible nothings over a harsh assault of chip tune noise and the frustrated licks of the bassist, who’s parts could barely be heard over the blaring electronics, bobbing just a few feet away from him. Their playing wasn’t sloppy per say, but it was difficult to get into the violent auditory assault of their performance; they lacked the type of cohesion necessary to make a fast, hard-hitting, experimental, queer, twinkly post-rock outfit such as themselves resonate with a timid sad-boi like me. Their set came to a roaring close when the drummer got up from his kit and started writhing on the floor, screaming into the microphone “I’M DONE. I’M DONE. I’M DEAD. I’M DEAD.” While the drummer was working through his existential break down, I took the time to peer at their merchandise; aside from some pink glitter cassettes and astronautical themed stickers, they had t-shirts adorned with minimal illustrations of "Axel" from the Kingdom Hearts video game series; I guess this is supposed to relate to their chip-tune motif, but the reference was lost on me.
After Ultra Deluxe’s onslaught of noise came to a close, the audience was treated to another cacophony of chip tune/trance madness with the teenage bleating of I Love You, I Love You. Hailing from West Virginia and touting no more than a laptop and the screeching of his seemingly pre-pubescent voice, “Love x2” played a simple set which was actually quite charming, on account of his honest lyrical content and stage presence. With lyrics like “Please, just f*cking kill me; or please, don’t f*cking miss me” and introducing himself as “A boy band who holds boys’ hands” before belting out a thirty second Locust-esque track about killing cops, something about this jolly emo one man jokester really struck a chord with everyone in attendance; every track and filler crack made by I Love You, I Love You was reciprocated by joyful chuckles and supportive egging. Who knows, maybe people just really liked the "Black Flags" hoodie he had on. [I forgot to take a picture of this act, but you can still find his music here: https://iloveyouiloveyou.bandcamp.com/album/little-acts-of-bravery?fbclid=IwAR2sFthXKXEmGFXaI3fEE8dmhyBs5YJ3nTpvHPG3UpIgoE9ytgJymZT6WTU )
The next group to go up (an actual band) took forty-five minutes to set up. A variety pack of instruments was hauled into the basement; from accordions to glockenspiels, an eclectic blend of acoustic and electronic instruments were set-up into a wall of amplifiers which, for those who hung around outside during their set-up, seemed to manifest from nowhere.
But, once plugged in, everyone in the house was whimsically summoned back down to the basement by the band’s folk-novelty incantations; like a modern fairy-tale, curious hipsters poured in from the outdoors, guided by the musical splendor of PDERRIGERREO’s tribe like harmonizing and rhythmic drum beating. With their listeners gathered, the band broke out into a sing-along folk song about brushing teeth, washing hands, and other hygienic exercises. Once done with that, they swapped their kazoos and accordions for electric banjos and violins for some eccentric industrial rock; enamored by it all I sat legs crossed on the floor, letting my ears get blown out by the intense noise that bled from the amp blockade. From there they jumped to blues rock, then a bit of alt-rock, and finally their set was closed out with a primal noise jam that launched the singer into manic hysteria, prompting him to run his microphone through his belt buckle to then buck like mule while screaming into his dick. It was incredible.