Now is an interesting time in the NYC underground music scene. If there was any sort of equivalent to the NME in NYC, undoubtedly, more people would know about these bands. We’ve got the noisy-makers shoe-gazers (The Fatales, My Best Fiend, A Place to Bury Strangers) the kids who are re-inventing or trying to find their place in the rock/pop of ‘yore (ilash, LEVY, Dirty on Purpose, Favourite Sons) and those trying to re-invigorate the crowd through performances (UniSex Salon, Soft). The list continues and anyone who tells you there is nothing good coming out of NYC anymore needs to just wait a year and see which of these bands rise to the top of the city.
First up on Saturday night was New York’s Favourite Sons. They played a slew of shows this summer and have recently been holed up in their Brooklyn practice space finishing material for their debut LP. Somehow this band has always flown just below my radar. I had seen Rollerskate Skinny years ago and recognized lead singer Ken, and the rest of the band from Aspera. The combination of these two bands that were never quite able to rise above the scene have lead to Favourite Sons creating something entirely unique within their niche. There’s something in the theatricality of the way Ken delivers a line, the way he drapes his coat over the mic stand behind him, you feel as if you’re watching an old-school crooner front a rock band.
Then it was a jet from Bowery Ballroom over to the Mercury Lounge to see LEVY play their first show in New York after playing a week of shows in London and putting down a beautifully subdued BBC session while over there. LEVY has been blipping on the radar for a while, and it’s amazing to see how far the band has come in just a year. Playing to packed, enthusiastic and, in some cases, singing-along audiences, LEVY’s live show has stepped up to the challenge put before them. Playing tunes off their debut, Rotten Love, the set is also liberally peppered with new live favorites “Reputante” and “King,” and if these are samples of what’s to come, we have a lot to look forward to.