The Brain Surgeoins NYC @ 31st
Street Pub, Pittsburgh, PA, Sat, 8/19/2006
Last Saturday I got to see the Brain Surgeons NYC at
the 31st Street Pub in Pittsburgh's Strip District. The Brain
Surgeons consist of members of two other great bands. Alber
Bouchard is the singer/drummer of the band and was the original
drummer of Blue Oyster Cult. The lead guitarist is also known
as Ross the Boss from Manowar. The band is rounded out by guitarist/vocalist
Deborah Frost and bassist David Hirschberg.
I got to the pub around 11 PM as I was told they likely wouldn't
come on until midnight. I missed the first opening act but watched
the next two. The 31st Street Pub is a small and "humble"
looking venue and the bands are close even when you are in the
back and these bands really benefit from it. There is almost
an elimination of the divide between the stage and the audience.
The Brain Surgeons came on at 12:30 PM. I wasn't sure what to
expect as I hadn't heard much of thier material other than what
is available on their myspace page. However, I found myself
liking just about every song they played. I was hooked from
the word go as they opened with the BOC classic "The Red
and the Black", which BOC ironically did on July 3rd this
year. Every song had a nice sharp, clear and grindy sound to
it. I was really impressed and recommend checking out their
myspace page and their music. They also played the BOC songs
"Godzilla" (where the drummer wore a Godzilla mask)
and "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll". The band
played until 2 AM. Not bad for a $7 cover charge and no parking
fee.Servere Case of Rock'n'Roll: Brain Surgeons NYC: Denial
of Death (Cellsum BS10021)
What do one expect from the new Brain Surgeons NYC CD Denial
Pretty much I'll say. Not at least due
to the fact that the band was joined by no less than guitar-hero
and hardrocker extra-ordinaire Ross the Boss who since the fall
of 2004 has been performing with the band.
For anybody aquainted with Brain Surgeons NYC they'll know what
super-group these musicians are. Consisting of top-drummer Albert
Bouchard (Ex-Blue Öyster Cult), his wife and ex-rock critic
Deborah Frost on guitar and bassist David Hirschberg BS NYC
has, since their previous guitarist Billy Hilfiger's sadly premature
death from a brain-tumor in the fall of 2001 and with their
other guitarist Peter Bohovesky subsequently leaving the music
business for good, till Ross joined the band been performing
as a well-playing power-trio Deborah and David alternating on
bass and guitar respectively. With Ross' affiliation to the
band BS NYC has now not only added a unique player but also
a great songwriter and an 'architect of sound' to the band Ross
being resposible for the music for the majority of the songs
on the record as well as a vital part in shaping the sound and
arrangements for DoD.
A current theme on DoD is the nature of the love relationship
and how our existential circumstances code for our behaviour
in such. Starting out with Rocket Science, an triumphant ode
to the fulfiled relation, this is also one of the greatest lovesongs
I have ever heard. Making nods to both The Dictators and Black
Sabbath the song works great as an opener Al's 'laughing drums'
and Deborah's sultry voice paired with the more sinister sounds
of David and Ross next portrait Dark Secrets telling af different
story of how even sinners connect before the mandolin appear
flimsy in Strange Like Me throwing a compasionate but also satiric
view on a life of superstition. The sinister mood continues
in Constantine's Sword a song about the irony of the idea of
salvation turning into fascism once straying from the love relationship
theme just to return with the ultimate horror-love story of
Jimmy Boots Fetisch telling the story of a scarred soul's escape
into sex outré before the headbanger rocker Plaugue of
Lies comes raining down on you.
The headbanging continues in 1864 a song based on Al's great
grand-father's experience in the civil war telling the story
of how circumstances of war haphazardly gives the ordinary person
a chance to stand out by their courage this way being able to
pass on the gift of an example for their descendants to follow.
The theme of courage also dominates the next song Tomb Of The
Unknown Monster yet another headbanger tune slightly slower
in tempo than 1864 displaying a great sing-along ability, at
this point leaving the listener without doubt about the freshness
of the band before Deborah's and Ross' guitars rolls in on you
like one big warm wave making the way for the marching beat
of Swansöng leading into the breakdown of the song about
being 'on the run from the summer' making the room for Al's
'talking drums'. The bleakness returns in yet another song about
unfulfiled love the medium-tempoed groove-rocker Verböten
dealing satirically with the phenomenon of the swinger culture
before the marching beat is resumed in Lonestar telling the
story of the pride and passion of a person acting tough on the
outside but keeping a warm heart underneath the facade.
Ending the record is a beautifully riffing rocker Change The
World Henry about how the little people of our world becomes
consumed by their dreams once sustained by pop-music against
the harsh realities of the circumstances they being in.
Clocking in at minutes 51:58 DoD comes on loaded like a book
combining the clever with the popular with an appeal to both
Dictators, Blue Öyster Cult and Manowar fans alike probably
this being among the best work of both Al, Ross and the Brain
Surgeons ever each song having a stand-out long-lasting quality
I am not afraid to say this is one of the greatest rock records
Anders Röder, Copenhagen, 2006/03/03
Brain Surgeons in PA
Last night I got to see The Brain Surgeons, a band I've been
following for 11 years now. They finally played Philly, but
some bars in Philly seem determined to maintain the city's generally
The bar, Tritone, didn't update their website until 2 days ago
(by which time I'd already confirmed which day the show was).
A fan who travelled 2-1/2 hours to get there told me only one
band was listed, and it said "10 PM". He was PISSED
that they had 3 bands listed-- and the other 2 were really bad.
I saw 3 bands listed in the paper, with the BS listed first--
which generally means they go on last. While the other guy was
angry because they DIDN'T go on at 10 PM, I got there around
11:15, shortly before one of the bands finished up. I thought
it might be the 2nd band finishing... no, it was the first.
And in fact, "my" band went on 2nd. There's something
not right there no matter how you look at it.
But worse, they apparently bought a brand-new 'P.A." system--
and it WASN'T working right!!! I've seen "technical difficulties"
before-- but not like this. For the first half-hour of the set,
at least, the vocals kept cutting in and out all on their own.
I could see not being able to get sound, but for it to come
on and off at intervals, as though it was on a timer, was rediculous.
After the opening sone had no vocals at all, it took 10 minutes
before they started up again-- and the next several songs had
intermittent problems. It finally got straightened out (more
or less) by the 2nd half. They were on (including the interruptions)
for around an hour and 15 minutes.
Then, it seems they had a couple more songs to go, but were
cut off because the band going on last INSISTED they cut their
set short. The BS' lead singer, Deborah Frost, was REALLY, REALLY
pissed, and let out a stream of profanities directed at the
3rd band, as well as the bar manager, asking "What kind
of F****** place are you running here?" The fan I talked
with told me he had NEVER had a good experience at a Philly
It's a damn shame, because I had a lot of fun in spite of
this. I managed thru incredible luck to find a FREE parking
space just 4 blocks away, I stood right up front for the whole
set, I got to meet and talk with the band-- when I said hi to
Deborah, she recognized my name and hollered over to her hubby,
Albert Bouchard, telling him I was there. Wow! Talk about making
someone feel welcome. (I've been writing Albert for 11 years
now-- and waiting for him to come to Philly all that time.)
Most of the show was new songs, and a couple of them really
stuck in my head, particularly one called "Dark Secrets",
which made me think of my friend Kevin's writing (it might be
a good song to go with one of his stories). But it was getting
to hear some songs I've played ENDLESSLY for around 27 YEARS
in such an "intimate" setting that really did it for
me: "The Red and the Black", "Astronomy",
"Tattoo Vampire", "Godzilla" and "Cities
On Flame With Rock And Roll". (Albert, of course, was Blue
Oyster Cult's drummer from 1972-82, and wrote or co-wrote many
of their earlier, and most bizarre stuff.) I'd seen BOC do "Cities
On Flame" in '86, but then it was Eric bloom singing--
this time, I got to see the guy who sang on the record doing
it-- and he was only 10 feet away from me! Also, halfway thru
"Godzilla" (which is not really one of Albert's songs,
but what the hey), he suddenly was wearing a big "Godzilla"
head as he was drumming. What fun.
Of course, I had to hang EVERYTHING up in the basement when
I got home, and even then, I've already thrown my sweater &
pants (separately) into the washing machine to get the STENCH
of cigarette smoke out. My heavy coat, I'm considering hanging
outside for an hour or so to air it out. I really wish they'd
outlaw smoking in public places in Philly as they already have
in California & NYC.
Henry R. Kujawa
tBS at the Meat Locker Montclair
The Brain Surgeons played live last night
at the Meat
Locker/Underground Eight in Montclair, NJ. The performance
space was once a "presentation studio" - basically
(in the sense of small but comfortably furnished) below
street level club, apparently long in disuse, recently
re-opened. The sound mix was good, I thought Ross'
guitar and Deb's vocals both could have used a bit of
boost, but both were still clearly audible.
The setlist consisted of:
Cities on Flame
Dominance & Submission
The Red and the Black
Born To Be Wild
They were filming the performance, so I presume there is
some chance of some or all of it making it to video at some
The opening numbers were a pair of Helen Wheels numbers
(Tattoo Vampire being significantly different from the BOC
version). Great songs, both of them. Then the band went
through a mix old old and new Surgeons tunes, before getting
to the "BOC standards" closing part of the setlist.
So, you're probably wondering how it was?
Holy shredding metal monsters, Batman!
The influences of Ross the Boss' presence in the band are
immediate and obvious:
(1) they're more metal than ever
(2) they're more intense in their performances
Don't get me wrong, the Surgeons have always played great
shows. They've always had loads of energy and a great live
"vibe", and they never, ever mail in a performance.
to really look forward to the later-in-the-set numbers once
Deb's voice was warmed up, and she would start really
belting out the tunes. But there was time for ballads and
goofing around at the mike, and at times it had more of a
"hanging out with friends" vibe to it.
Last night (except for the traditional comedy break during
Godzilla), it was a lot more head-down, full-tilt rock and
roll. Ross has lost none of his shredding, melt-the-strings
lead guitar capabilities. More than that, he obviously
*loves* the material, is totally into the show, and the rest
of the band seems to draw new energy off of his enthusiasm.
The new material is real "damn the torpedoes full speed
ahead" type stuff, and Al intimated that the other new
material (which they haven't debuted yet), which is even
more intense. The vibe of their live show now is less
relaxed than it used to be, and with more restless, boiling
I think it's the best Brain Surgeons show I've seen.
From the same gig:
One thing I noticed was that the backing
vocals seemed more together
now. It seems like David was singing more than I recall him
in the past (although I may just have noticed it more) but Ross
also chiming in. With all four members singing, the vocal sound
has some added chunk.
Moving on to more general comments now ...
Ross has, naturally, added some depth and pyrotechnics to the
It's nice to have a shredder in the lineup:-) He's also got
share and more of rock star charisma, so the visual aspects
show picked up some - one downside to all the singers is that
often find themselves trapped behind mike stands. Even in the
space at the Meatlocker, Ross was able to get out from behind
and show off some.
As for the three Senior Surgeons, they just keep getting better.
as a trio seems to have paid off in their chops and playing.
are playing as well as I've ever seen them.
The new material is strong and the old material was executed
with style and
authority. It's almost a pity that the BS back catalog is so
since favorites are almost certain to be overlooked. (Time ...
is a favorite
here, too. And I missed Il Duce.) And that's ignoring both Al's
old bands songs. (But I'll never complain about hearing D&S.)
The bottom line is this: this is the strongest lineup I think
the BS have
ever had, and a lot of things seem to be jelling. I really think
could take off now. I'm hoping to see them in some bigger venues
(BB King's, guys? What about a double bill with Ian Hunter on
There's no other act listed and Ian has worked with BOC before
tBS Bug Jar Rochester NY 7/10/04
As a non-professional reviewer, I reserve
the right to post my "interpretation" of the setlist.
I'm just not that detail-oriented, okay? Sue me.
The full setlist looked something like this:
Rock 'N' Roll is Dead
Cities On Flame
State of Emergency
Lady of the Harbor
Revenge of Vera Gemini
Dominance & Submission
The Red & The Black
Born to Be Wild
I walked into the Bug Jar around 11 as the UV Rays were setting
up. So I spent a minute scanning the room for people in Surgeons
T-shirts. Rich was there, a long time fan I'd met at a Buffalo
gig a few years ago. There were also a couple rocker chics sporting
the badass new skull 'n' crossbones style Ts. See: http://www.cellsum.com/Merch.htm
My new wife had decided to stay home and catch some Zs after
a long work week, so this time it was just me at the bar with
a $4 Guinness and an anxiousness to see the UV Rays off the
stage and the Surgeons up there with Ross the Boss. You know,
the guitarist whose name is ever destined to be followed by
"of The Dictators and Manowar."
The Rays are the kind of garage band/punk rock outfit that rules
the Rochester music scene right now. Though what mostly drew
my attention to them was the fact their their rhythm guitarist
looks a lot like Burke Shelley from Budgie.... At several points
in their set, the singer reminded us how we'd all get the chance
to see Ross the Boss tonight. So as the Rays wailed away, I
went to the bar area and spoke briefly with Al about the circumstances
behind Ross becoming a Brain Surgeon.
While Al was editing the Helen Wheels Tribute DVD, he discovered
that the most exciting moments were The Dictators set, and the
two songs Ross played with the Surgeons. Al, Deb and David had
been looking for a new guitarist and here was someone they already
knew, who was a NYC rock legend in his own right, and who even
knew some of their songs. It was a natural fit, and Ross was
into it too. As Ross came over and I introduced myself, Al noticed
that the UV Rays were playing a Dictators cover. Ross took off
to catch the tribute and I followed him in for the rest of the
Next up was a band I've seen open for the Surgeons many times,
both as Static Cling and as Helen Wheel's backup band: The Skeleton
Crew. The Cling put in their usual high-energy set, with Cathi
Lee Otis taking the front-person role instead of playing keys.
I thought this worked out great. She has an ease at the mic
contradicted by what seems like a touch of shyness at being
front-and-center. She also has the knack for belting out hard
rock anthems. She was especially powerful on Helen Wheel's "Room
to Rage." Kim Draheim played his usual blistering guitar
with all the technical flair and feeling great lead guitarists
possess. At least, all my favorite guitarists.
Oh yeah, the Brain Surgeons played too. At about quarter to
one Al's harmonica launched the band into a massive version
of "Rock 'N' Roll" is Dead", to the yells and
raised fists of an anxious crowd. This was the heavy, muscular
sound we'd been waiting all night to hear. The Surgeons with
Ross the Boss. Or as Deb yelled to the UV Rays at the front
of the stage, "Ross the F*cking Boss!" So what did
they pull out of their collective ass to follow such a stomping
opener? "Tattoo Vampire." The crowd, including yours
truly, completely lost it. I'd seen the Surgeons play Tattoo
Vampire before, but this version was every bit as maniacal as
the original--and then some. Of course, you could say the same
about almost every song they played last night.
Al had told me that this was only the third time Ross had played
or practiced with the Surgeons, and it led to some exciting
interpretations. Every solo was Ross. Not Ross playing Buck
Dharma, or Ross playing Billy Hilfiger/Pete Bohovesky. He found
his way into every song and stamped it with his garage-fired
speed metal. That didn't mean it wasn't messy at times. There
was a moment or two where the band lost it, but they always
got right back on track. When you're like me and have every
note of these songs firmly planted in your brain cells, not
knowing what's coming next makes every old song feel like the
first time you've heard it. The crowd could feel it too. It
was the most enthusiastic group I'd seen at a Surgeons gig since
the first time they played Ithaca at The Haunt, when a bunch
of Billy's family and friends were there and Jason "Bolts
of Ungodly Vision" Scruton earned a "you rock!"
for his all out freak-out dancing.
As for the venerable founders of this hard rock institution,
(It's been 10 years since Eponymous, believe it or not.) they
were dead-on as usual. David laid down his groovy "monster
bass" lines under and around the twin-guitar crunch of
Ross and Deb, and did his best Florence Ballard impersonation
to Deb and Al's Diana Ross.
At her best, Deb is the Surgeon's middle finger. Five feet of
concentrated New York attitude. Last night she had it all together,
playing off the crowd with a smirk and shreading the paint off
the walls on "Gun" and "State of Emergency"
in particular. Her guitar rumbled with Ross's the whole set,
with her comfortably taking the lead a couple times. She even
got in a few literal guitar "licks" during "The
Red & The Black."
Al is Al. That is to say there's nobody quite like him. His
wild vocal takes on "Tattoo Vampire", "Cities
On Flame" and "Dominace & Submission" were
fun, funny and cool, while his drumming skills are already well
known and appreciated here. So there's not much to add besides
the fact he had at least one local drummer I know of nodding
his head and raising his fist in acknowledgement of Al's talent.
Some other interesting moments included walking into the bathroom
to find Al playing Astronomy on an acoustic guitar and singing
in front of a small audience which I later found included John
Weisenthal, the guitarist from Soft White Underbelly. Or at
least that's what I thought I heard Al say as he had the band's
picture taken with him during the set. Unfortunately, I couldn't
hear him too clearly.
Another stand out moment for me was the crowd stamping and clapping
for a second encore after the Surgeons' storming version of
"The Red & The Black," which even inspired a mosh
pit. Ross started playing the riff to Born to Be Wild and the
band all looked at each other as if to say, "OK, let's
go with it." Soon the whole club was singing along, jumping
around, smiling and shouting. It was a show stopper to end all
shows, and as this one came to an end Al said he hoped they'd
get back here soon. I can't wait.
tBS In Cleveland July 21
We caught tBS on their last day of their
Summer Tour 2001, being almost 4 yrs since our last BS Show
I was looking forward to it for quite some time. The show was
at The Bottom Line Saloon in Cleveland. Although it was a club,
the owner said it was ok to bring our 14 yr old son. Albert
was always our son's favorite Beatle. If any of you missed out
on seeing tBS this summer shame on you. I sat back by The SoundBoard
with a shitty grin of satisfaction the whole show thinking to
myself over and over again "This is fucking amazing". We got
over 2 hrs of great tunes even though the club was 100 degrees.
Covered was a great version of Niagara
Falls, Room To Rage, St Vitus and Sinful Love from The Helen
Wheels Tribute CD. Many BS tunes such as Biloxi with a great
vocal from Deb, BOC tunes as Red/Black, Dom/Sub,Astronomy, COF
and Godzilla which as Lisa posted here that Deb brought our
son up on stage for some vocal help.
A real highlight was Albert putting on
a Wizard hat and the band doing Curse Of The Hidden Mirror.
tBS have an amazing new Guitarist in
Deb Frost playing note for note with perfection and hey she
plays a mean bass as well. David Herschberg plays a great bass
and guitar as well...Albert well he needs no praise because
he is simply the best there ever is. To hear him play for 30
secs is all you need to hear to make your jaw drop.
tBS a truly entertaining and fun night
for all. You will leave their show with a smile on your face
that will last all week. :-)
North Carolina on Flame with
the Brain Surgeons July 5 & 6, 2001
I was able to catch both Brain Surgeons
shows in North Carolina during their recent summer
tour. As is the case with last summer's tour, I was extremely
impressed and really enjoyed the
shows. Like last summer, the current incarnation of tBSs
is the trio of Albert Bouchard, his wife
Deborah Frost, and David Hirschberg. They
played in two small venues, one in Raleigh on July 5th, and
the following night in Charlotte.
Both shows attracted a small core of the faithful. Other patrons
were quickly converted with the net result being a compact,
energetic crowd. I was able to meet up
with my BOC buddy from Charlotte, Chuck, and also made the acquaintance
of a couple of fellow cult members
from Raleigh, Jonathan and Margaret. ( I finally, met
the owner of the RV with the Kronos wheel cover!)
The set list was heavy with material
from the just released Helen Wheels tribute CD, "To
Helen with Love", (available from www.cellsum.com) with Albert
making frequent references to it. These
Sinful Love -the Albert and Helen Wheels
classic from AOF. Albert's voice has not changed through the
Niagara Falls -this song by Helen Wheels
must have been written with Deborah Frost in mind. It showcases
her vocals and it's my favorite off the new CD.
Room to Rage -rockin' tune which Albert
said HW always played when performing with her band.
Also included in the setlist were several
BSs tunes. I am still compiling all tBSs CDs so I am
not completely up to speed on all their
material. Here's the tunes from their set that I recognized:
Last Angry Woman
Of course, several BOC tunes were also
Cities On Flame
Sinful Love (mentioned above)
Godzilla -with Albert donning the reptilian
The Red and the Black
Dominance and Submission -"...was the
Astronomy -this was the highlight of
the show to me. Albert has reworked this classic BOC tune into
a BS's touring staple. The addition of the mandolin, or as Debra
calls it, the "MandoCaster," really creates a unique and beautiful
The band seemed energetic and exited
to be touring. I think they sounded a little better the second
night, when I saw them in Charlotte. Perhaps this was due to
their reunion with Charlotte's premier soundman, "Hooter."
Albert, as always, is extremely entertaining
to watch. He clearly loves playing live. He is intense, seeming
to enter a "zone." His facial expressions are a study, varying
from his consummate smile to an occasional maniacal gaze. He
is able to project a huge sound when necessary, which contrasts
starkly to his diminutive size. He uses his full drumkit and
is clearly more than a "metal" drummer.
Debra has always impressed me and I thought
her vocals sounded strong. She handles the bass and guitar well
and did a fine job with the uneviable task of reproducing some
old BOC licks on several tunes. David is a multifaceted musician
and I think is the key to tBSs working as a trio. I like what
I heard of his backing vocals and I think he should try his
hand at a few leads.
As always, Albert and Co. took plenty
of time before, during and after the show to interact with the
fans. I had interesting conversations with David, Debra and
Albert. Clearly they all enjoy interacting with interested fans
and will do so almost as long as anyone wants to hang out regardless
of how late it is getting. I was delighted to be able to speak
to each of them.
From their website and earlier posts
I have read on the BOC newsgroup it sounds like they had a successful
tour. Other fans seemed to have had as enjoyable a time as I
did. Hopefully, they will tour again next summer and I would
encourage anyone who has an opportunity to see them to do so.
Good Health to You,
First show of summer 2001 tour
at Don Hill's NYC by Jason Scruton:
For me, at least, this show was a long
time coming -- last time I saw Albert
B. and Co. was in Rochester NY 4 years ago, when Billy Hilfiger
and Peter Bohevesky handled guitar
duties and the band did an extended jam on "Name
Your Monster." Great times. I really didn't know what to expect
of the band's live sound as a threepiece,
and that's a good thing. At this show,
I felt as if I was experiencing the band for the very first
time, all the way back at the Rongovian
Embassy in the fall of '94 when everyone was new
to everyone else and "Mad Dude" was played twice.
But at the wonderfully chock full-o-character
bar/performance space of Don Hill's,
the threepiece of Albert, Deborah and David marshalled a
fmaliar,but phoenix-like NEW kind of Surgeonsound.
The rhythm section, Albert+whoever
was on Bass duty for a song, was completley in sync (of
course, not the boy band! Shudder to think
such a thought!) brazenly strident,
marshalling both well known tBS tracks and new tunes in a, "we're
here to kick out the jams, mf'ers!!", kind of way. The tunes?
They played a tight set, consisting of:
Last Angry Woman (Deborah vox & guitar,
Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll (Deborah
guitar, David bass, Albert vox)
Time Will Take Care of You (same as Cities...
Sinful Love (Deborah bass, David guitar,
Room to Rage (same as Sinful Love)
Medusa (Deborah guitar, David Bass)
St. Vitus Dance (Deborah guitar, David
Godzilla (Godjira drums, Debroah Guitar,
David bass, 2 audience members vox)
Obviously, the highlights of the set
were the performances of Sinful Love and
Room to Rage, which were used to advertise the upcoming Helen
Wheels tribute CD (whose proceeds
are all going to charity). If you have not heard
the MP 3 of "Sinful Love" availible (linked to on www.celsum.com)
DO IT NOW. It has a completely
different feel than what you're used to on BOC's
Agents of Fortune. It's cool and loud and reckless. I loved
it. Having heard Helen Wheels and
the Skeleton Crew play twice, the excellent rendition
of her barnburnin' Room to Rage was very touching and, above
all, performed in a Surgeonish
way, but retaining all of the punk attitude on heard
on Archetype. Their repect for Helen as a close friend and a
musical talent brightly burns through
the Surgeons' delivery.
Godzilla, on the other hand, was
the most familiar to me from my BOC collection,
but in the hands of Deborah,Albert and Dave, the funk-ish drum
pattern which marked the original is expanded
upon and coupled with a good loud
guitar. To boot, this re-arragnement included the use of back
vocals to ill out the more familiar
Donald Roeser note bends on the original(this is
also true of St. Vitus Dance). Not one to let a possibility
for audience rabble rousing pass
by, the band extended the middle bit of the song (right
after Albert did his warnings in Japanese)
to allow for the left side of the
stage shouting "god", the right "zilla", which soon broke into
the mighty appearance of the drumming
beast himself - repsplendent in strobe lights
a and peerless kineticism on the skins. Almost as if on cue,
as the verses rerturned to close
out the song, massive tendrils of smoke from the bar
occupants clouded the stage -- despite the "health benefits"
of the smoke, the visual effect
was rather cool -- Greenwich Ave. really was on Flame.
Indeed, this was THE band to do it.
Deborah's guitar playing has shifted
the weight of the material into a rougher,
tougher terrain than the well honed, craftily bent notes of
Bohevesky and Hilfiger. Live show chestnuts
like Time Will take care of You,
Medusa and St. Vitus Dance (the latter has always been one of
my favorite tunes of theirs, and
it still holds true after last night) had a more
leering swagger and urgency which wasn't as apparent on the
first threee CDs. Deborah's been
able to hand the transition for vox to vocalist/guitar
player incredibly well and she's improved gratly since
joinin on Dominance and Submission in
the olde days. The same is true of Last
Angry Woman... For all intents and purposes, this band was a
new band which had been around
since Eponymous -- but only now have the power trio really
seemed to find a groove they havent been to. One of the things
I've alwys written about in the past when
recounting tales of the Brain Surgeons,
was that This Band Has Fun on stage, and again, it's almost
a ,metaphysical certitude that hits you like a guitar solo and
leaves you gasping for air (well,
it left me gasping for air -- when the urge to dance
hits, you dance! others were so inclined
to, and the band fed off the collective
imitiations of whilring dervishes)-- that's the best reason
to do this crazy thing called rock
and roll, isn't it? Thanks once again for making
rock and roll happen all over again, guys. It does the soul
Black heart of soul,