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Ohio rocks the Fort
The D-Rays and Hex Net Invade In September
By EA Poorman
Fort Wayne Reader
I've gotta admit, I've been a little bummed lately. Maybe it's because summer is going by way too fast. It could be because my book isn't getting published...again. Ehh, it's not very good anyways.
You know what, I think what's really bugging me is the fact that two of my favorite local bands have said goodbye to Fort Wayne stages for good. First, House Of Bread founder and likeable chap Omar Afzaal packed up and moved to New York. The word was that the band would still collaborate via the interweb, but that's what they all say. Then, at the beginning of July TIMBER!!! announced they were calling it a day. On August 16th they'll be playing their last show for their fans and friends at CS3(more on this soon). So, when all your favorite bands are going away, what do you do? Well, you pull up your boot straps and look around and realize there's still plenty to love about this town. Like Heaven's Gateway Drugs. And Streetlamps For Spotlights. And Mr. Jason Davis.
Yes, Jason Davis. The drummer for TIMBER!!!, and owner/operator of Off The Cuff Sound, and all around music guru is still hard at work both making music, helping others make music, and bringing incredible bands to Fort Wayne to keep us busy on those evenings when we need to unwind with a beer and some loud rock n' roll music. Back in June Jason's Streetlamps For Spotlights hosted Madison, Wisconsin's The Hussy at the Rail. It turned out to be a crazy night of loud music and great times. SfS also played a show with Indy's We Are Hex and Fort Wayne's own Heaven's Gateway Drugs back on June 30th at the Rail. Now, Jason tells me he's got one hell of a show lined up on September 14th with Athens, Ohio bands The D-Rays and Hex Net, along with SfS at, of course, The Brass Rail. All is not lost, young rockers.
Here's what the D-Rays have to say about themselves, "Formed in the Appalachian foothills in 2011, The D-Rays draw from a wide number of garage/surf/punk influences to deliver their own brand of stripped down and dirty instrumental rock." Stripped down and dirty instrumental rock? What else needs to be said? Okay, here's some more. "Driven by bass player Missy Pence and drummer Maceo Gabbard, The D-Rays’ live show reflects the short attention span of guitarist Erick Coleman. Onstage, the band gets right down to business- their alcohol-fueled set features original tunes that rarely break the two minute mark. The result is a fast moving show centered around a blasting rhythm section and reverb-soaked guitar."
Listening to the track "The Morgellon Creep" off of their self-titled album, I imagine The Ventures being demonically possessed. Or The Stooges recording Raw Power with Dick Dale. Imagine those surf tracks from the early 60s recorded by bands like Blue Cheer, MC5, or a "roid-raged" Animals. If their albums are any indication of their live shows, you won't want to miss this. Hopefully The Brass Rail isn't left in smoldering embers after their set. Make sure you check out their Safety 3rd e.p. and the Chantays-meet-the-Ramones scorcher "Landlocked" for further proof as to why you must see the D-Rays live. The D-Rays have shared the stage with bands like Southern Culture on the Skids, The Queers, Deke Dickerson, White Mystery, Bill Kirchen, Man Man, the Supersuckers and more.
Hex Net are altogether a different story. There's elements of psych, garage, punk, and elements of the occult thrown in to their cauldron of bloodied up rock. "Vice Church Blues" is an angst-y number with rattling distorted guitar, some organ, and a healthy dose of gruffly moaned vocals by singer/guitarist Seth Riddlebarger. Along with Tim Peacock on bass, Nathan Moore on keys, and Chris Aubell on drums Hex Net play a no-frills, in-your-face kind of rock n' roll that doesn't need any fluff or gimmicks to get their point across. "Trick Dog", "Behind My Prowl", and "Polygraph Highway(which sounds like some sort of bizarro world version of Springsteen)" are like a soundtrack to some lost pulpy Jim Thompson novel set in some fictional late 60s New Mexico desert town. With Riddlebarger's voice bringing to mind Tom Waits at times -and a coked-out Phil Alvin other times- it lends a noir-ish lean to their already 'steeped-in darkness' sound. They've played with the likes of Buffalo Killers, Reverend Horton Heat and R. Ring(featuring Mike Montgomery and Kelly Deal) to name a few. They even played Bacon Fest. Yes, I said Bacon Fest. Doesn't get any better than bacon, and some seriously scuffed-up rock to make a party a party.
And of course, playing host to this extremely loud shindig is the always excellent Streetlamps for Spotlights. At some point, we'll be talking about how great the new Streetlamps for Spotlights is and discussing the awesome album release show that's going down in said album's honor. Until then, we've got September 14th to look forward to.
So clear your calender on September 14th. Get with the boss and tell 'em you can't work that night. Hell, while you're at it, tell 'em the morning of the 15th isn't any good either(you'll thank my later). That night you'll be joining The D-Rays, Hex Net, and Streetlamps for Spotlights at The Brass Rail for some reverbed surf punk, edgy, noir-ish psych rock, and whatever it is you call that magical noise SfS make.
The D-Rays at draysathens.wordpress.com
Hex Net at Hexnet.bandcamp.com
Streetlamps for Spotlights at facebook.com/streetlampsforspotlights
I'm E.A. Poorman, and I approve this rock show.