New York City locals Group Sounds took the stage with every intention of rocking the NY Bowery crowd and getting their feet to move. It’s always incredibly refreshing to see a group who so clearly love what they’re doing and genuinely want to share their music with others. Their presence maintained an innocence absent of all egoist hipster bullshit. They were just a group of real dudes who loved to rock and the enthusiasm was contagious. The band’s sound is marked by an interesting combination of dancey Hot Hot Heat synth, original rock & roll riffs and old school punk “Rock N Roll High School” inspired vocal harmonies. Various songs contained elements that reminded me of the Exploding Hearts or an amazing Blood Brothers chorus from Burn Piano Island, Burn. As they played through their set of infectiously upbeat rock songs, even “Things Fall Apart”could inspire nothing but happiness. It was the catchy Ramones-like choruses that really struck me as their greatest asset. I had yet to see any current synth rock band infuse their songs with classic punk elements, but it only makes sense.
The Kills are unfathomably good. I now understand the extreme irony of the title of their latest release, No Wow, because all I could think of as I watched them take over and destroy Bowery Ballroom was WOW, super f-ing wow. As VV and Hotel took the stage, the lights began to flicker to the blaring, droning sound of Hotel’s guitar riffs. It was an instantaneous rock & roll monsoon. VV’s intensity and seizure-like movements were unexpected and scared me in a strangely fulfilling way. This was the most real deal bad-ass insanity I have ever seen in a live performance. I’m not usually a fan of any sort of over dramatic stage antics, they usually just leave me feeling really, really uncomfortable for the person responsible. However, the more VV threw and jerked her frail body around the stage to the music, the more I fell in love with her. I was cheering for her inside to get weirder and wilder. Ultimately, she did not let me down. She and Hotel burst into incredibly intense in your face duets and ended the show in rock & roll mock fornication, VV on her knees back bent to the floor with Hotel’s droning guitar slamming into her as she writhed on the floor. In a previous interview, the Kills are quoted as saying “every song is like a little pumping heart.” Their entire performance was like one massive, erratically pumping heart and I fell deeply in love. You can count me in for any show they ever play again and if you know what’s best for you, you will too.
Source: Cara Heller