As finals drew ever closer, music-loving Phoenicians jammed out under a full moon at The Trunk Space Thursday night. The evening was an eclectic mix of punk-influenced sets, pounding drums and heavy distortion as Great American Youngbloodz, Mr. Atomm’s Bombs, Algae & the Tentacles and Doctor Bones took to the stage.
Great American Youngbloodz opened the evening, and they brought quite the crowd with them. The five-piece band mixed heavy bass with light psychedelic tones and synthesized chords to create a summery feeling. If disco-era high schoolers could go on a tour of Machu Picchu, this band would play their theme song.
The Great American Youngbloodz also debuted a new song in their set, much to the excitement of the audience. Among the themes of the songs were masturbation, surfing and straight-up tripping. The band’s sound wasn’t so clean, organized or necessarily well-rehearsed, but it was obvious that they were having fun with it.
Up next came Mr. Atomm’s Bombs, a heavily distorted punk outfit. The band kept things short and to the point — no flowery lyrics or complicated melodies, and few of the songs lasted more than two minutes. A mixture of bass, electric guitar and drums blared to narrate tales of imminent death and one extremely huge moment of “oh shit.” Mr. Atomm’s Bombs veered toward a dirtier, choppier Sex Pistols-type style. Additionally, mad props to the guitar player — he hand-pierced both ears with multiple safety pins, and was wearing them as über-edgy earrings. It’s so punk, it hurts … literally.
Visiting Tucson locals Algae & the Tentacles followed, with a decidedly less messy set. Drums accompanied an electric guitar to create the first obviously well-rehearsed set of the night. The exquisite rhythm and control of the drummer and the seriousness of Eddie Vedder-style vocals wooed the audience. Before long, a cacophony of the guitar player and lead singer’s looped vocals combined with a gnarly beat to raise the energy — his glasses came off, and the audience knew it was serious jam time.
Despite a slightly rocky beginning, the evening at The Trunk Space finished in triumph with the extreme showmanship and killer musical skill of Doctor Bones. The influence of ‘80s synth pop was obvious in the five-piece band, and much of its unique sound harkened back to darkwave rather than punk. Think the bass lines of The Cure, the guitar riffs of Flock of Seagulls and the vocals of Fred Schneider of the B-52’s and Gary Numan. Bass, electric guitar, drums, keyboard synthesizer, ethereal feminine vocals, tambourine and extremely high energy created a performance that truly topped the night. The lead singer theatrically rolled around on the floor and danced in the crowd, the bassist screamed like a crazed lumberjack on more than one occasion and they sang about killing old ladies.
You can’t get more memorable than that.
Regardless of the full moon, every one of the bands created an exciting atmosphere on Thursday evening. Although it wasn’t packed full, The Trunk Space hosted yet another night of noteworthy shenanigans.
Photos by Katie-Lee Faulkner/DD