June 22, 2009
1928 Recordings Showcase: JezebelMusic.com @ the Northside Festival
JezebelMusic.com @ Bruar Falls
June 14, 2009 | The Browns, Air Waves, & Sundelles
“Whew, it’s early!” laughed Air Waves drummer Daoud durin the 1928 Recordings showcase at Bruar Falls on Sunday afternoon. Bright sunlight streamed through the back door and a few children drank sodas at the bar. While some folks sipped beers, others idled with coffee and pastries in hand.
But there was no fatigue in the droopy, droning vocals and detached stare of Ryan McReynolds, singer and guitarist for The Browns and owner of 1928 Records. Browns play it straight: garage rock without much distortion, and no crazy stage antics. The most excitement of the set came from drummer Santos Montana, who battered the hell out of the snares. They set the mood for what was a day of jeans-and-t-shirt, no-pretense music. The Browns really do sound like a twangier, daytime version of The Soft Pack, the big fish on 1928 Records, which made them a good choice for a set during Williamsburg’s brunching hour.
Air Waves also fit the daytime setting – they’re the kind of band I’d play on a slow morning at home. I’ve read reviews of Air Waves that describe them as a folk-punk band that avoids delicacy. But there’s a real gentleness to their music and a resounding sadness in their songs. Nicole Schneit’s voice squeezes and rustles through her throat until she finds the clear open space of her upper register, and the whole experience of hearing her get there is really lovely. I was most struck by “Gems,” one of those songs where, by the end, I realized that I’d been staring through the band.
The only act that suffered from playing an early show was the Sundelles’, but that’s really a compliment to them. They were enthusiastic, sweaty, loud. They played San Diego sunny, fuzzy rock ‘n roll that grabbed at punk and even doo-wop; music for those who got the brunch beer instead of a latte. But I guess the crowd was still waking up. They kept their distance from the stage (some folks plugged their ears) while bassist Francis McLoughlin lurched around, grimacing, his glasses sliding down his nose, while singer/guitarist Sam Sundos swayed on the balls of his feet. I wanted to jump around and shake my hair too, but I felt inhibited by the unresponsive crowd. Still, I found Sundelles’ most upbeat songs, like “Dead Youth,” to be their most successful. I only wish they’d played their shout-along cover of The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks.” Maybe next time. I’d gladly see Air Waves and Browns at another matinee, but I’ll have to check out Sundelles once more at night, so I can really let loose.
by Erin Sheehy