For all the buzz surrounding Atlanta’s rock scene in the wake of the Black Lips and Deerhunter, out-of-town bands on ATLien labels have garnered comparatively little attention. So it was sans fanfare that San Francisco's Apache and New York City's Electric Shadows rocked The Earl on Saturday night in support of The Hiss.
Two of the catchiest outfits from a Douchemaster
roster that boasts more hooks than a tackle box, both bands turn the
clock back to the era of tight jeans and white-boy ’fros. While the
Shadows share in the power pop revivalism Atlanta’s own Gentleman Jesse, San Francisco’s Apache have fixated themselves on glam.
Were it 1978, Apache’s shirtless lead singer would be tossing
microphone stands in front a jam-packed arena of adoring fans. But 2008
sees the band in a small bar in front of a few scattered punks with
their arms crossed. These Californians don’t fret, instead utilizing
the lower profile afforded by their tardiness to sing openly about such
risqué topics as cocaine (“White Hammer”) and masturbation (“Beat
Myself”)—and have a blast doing so. Though Apache lacks the songwriting
chops to produce a really great record, it is impossible not to share
in the revelry of their live show, provided you like your vocalists
wild and your guitars wailing.
Though New York City’s Electric Shadows wear their necklines low,
they kept the adrenaline high. The Shads matched Apache for energy and
one-upped them by bringing killer tunes to boot. Imagine if every
Raspberries song was as good as “I Wanna Be With You” and you have the
Electric Shadows-- that is to say, they never dabble in soft rock,
instead emphasizing the “power” in power pop. By the time they finished their
set with “Break the Rules,” the anthemic a-side of their one release,
the Electric Shadows had become larger-than-life rock stars despite all
material indications otherwise. Even the Earl's hipsters had to
briefly uncross their arms to dance a little bit.
And for all this, we have Douchemaster to thank: The
Shads and Apache provide the perfect example of how the
Atlanta labels have augmented the local scene to make the city a
legitimate hub. Be sure to check it out when Atlanta’s Rob’s House
Records brings Alabaman rockers Thomas Function to Lenny’s on Thursday.
Apache on MySpace
Electric Shadows on MySpace
Douchemaster Records on MySpace