Show Reviews

    Monday Battle Round One


    Strangecreek Battle of the Bands, night one, The Stone Church, Brattleboro, VT.

    Whalom Park, The Dirty Vice Band, and Getmo battle it out for Strangecreek supremacy! This was the first battle to take place in Brattleboro and the Stone Church could not be a more perfect place to conduct it. The welcoming crew up there, the beautiful venue setting, the high quality sound system- all combine for a Worm night that fought off the cold temperatures and set the stage for this year’s Strangecreek Campout.

    Photo by Steve Martil

    The battle opened with Whalom Park, a five piece band out of Athol MA consisting of drums, guitar, bass, keys and a dedicated lead singer. There was already a nice crowd gathered for a Monday night, and the battle was underway. The keyboard was able to shake things up during the second song, an original- by jumping on guitar- but by the third song he was back to the keys. The band has a nice sound, rock and jam based, with a slightly darker edge, that reminded me a little bit of Outer Stylie. Their songs were mapped out well, and their approach was purposeful and had a rural Massachusetts feel, somehow.

    Full set audio of Whalom Park, use the arrows to toggle between songs:

    The Dirty Vice band came up next and brought it hard from the first note. Hailing from Bay Shore NY the seven piece band was pro and polished. Two guitars, keys, bass, drums, percussion and a dedicated vocalist. They were super tight with each song sounding different and standing on its own. The lead singer worked the stage with a practiced strut but full of sincere energy. They are definitely a show band. Deftly combining rock and soul elements brought to mind past great bands like Living Colour or even Sonia Dada, but the Dirty Vice band has a vibe and path that will be its own. They are definitely a band to watch.

    Photo by Steve Martil

    Full show audio, use the arrows to toggle between songs.

    Getmo closed the night and came in high and hard. A full nine piece band includes drums, percussion, bass, two guitars, another dedicated lead singer and a horn section comprised of trombone, trumpet and saxophone. The set opener was a funky tune that brought to mind the combination of vocals, horns and funkiness that is the calling card of bands like Turkuaz or Swift Technique. But it only took the next song in the set to see that the band has a diversity of sound. Hailing from Portland Maine Getmo was able to instantly illustrate that they belonged in this battle.

    Getmo takes full advantage of their extensive band- choosing not to use the horns only for accents or solos, but rather to utilize all band members to provide texture. The resultant sound is creative and thick, filled with potential and nuance.

    Photo by Steve Martil

    Full show audio, use the arrows to toggle between songs.

    What a pleasure that the decision is a difficult one to make. The three bands were wildly different and I could easily imagine any of them playing a set at Strangecreek. And in a really cool development, there was not a single cover song that I could ascertain, all three bands took this opportunity to show the music that they had written.

    Alas, there can be only one. On this night The Dirty Vice Band was able to best illustrate their sound and will be moving on to the next round.

    Keep an eye here for more Battle reviews and audio. And keep up with the developments in the Strangecreek Battle of the Bands via this FB event link.