Looking for something to do on the night of March 30th? Well, if you're in the mood for a night of some gritty, dark, and loud music that will get you moving and potentially cause you to lose your hearing for a few days, then Suck the Honey’s EP release show, spread out over both the Woodward Theater and MOTR, is right up your alley.
Suck the Honey is a two piece band from Cincinnati consisting of singer and guitarist Lucas Fraizer and Jake Grove on the drums. They are actually members of another local band that you may have heard of called Pop Goes Evil. The band currently has released one album that was released in 2016, cleverly named All Hail Having Failed; this new EP follows the vein of faux-screwups, titled Five More Failures.
Drawing inspiration from many well-known two-piece acts like The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and The Kills, Suck the Honey is a band that is hard to clearly define as a specific genre of music. Listening to All Hail Having Failed, I see many different comparisons that can be drawn for each song on the album. The album's first track, “Love The Beast,” has a country twang chord structure, which combined with Frazier's voice gives it a very heavy Johnny Cash sound. By the end, Suck the Honey changes gears and turns the song into a power ballad. At the same time, songs like “The Dog” have much more of a hardcore punk influence to them (go listen to the song “Chain Worker” by Pissed Jeans if you really want to know what I'm talking about). The very next song, “Right Where It Hurts,” switches gears yet again to a more heavy alt-rock sound. Even with all these genre changes, the band somehow was able to combine all these types of music into one complete album that makes sense.
With Suck the Honey headlining the whole shindig, there are three other great local acts that will be opening up for them at the Woodward: Lemon Sky, Filthy Beast, and Deadman String Band. Lemon Sky is a local psychedelic rock band consisting of members Aaron Madrigal, Steve Korfhagan, Eric Cronstein, and Eric Keyes. Currently, the band has two albums out: their self-titled debut, and it's follow-up, Dos. Lemon Sky has described their sound as everything from Led Zeppelin and Captain Beyond to something completely on the other side of the music spectrum like The Smashing Pumpkins. I completely agree with that assessment; it's what makes Lemon Sky a must-see at the show.
Filthy Beast is another local band you will be able to see here as well. Bringing a blues-rock sound to the show, Filthy Beast is a four-piece band consisting of frontman Luck Darling, Dave Reid on drums, bassist Zach Madden, and keyboarder and guitarist Noah Spradlin. With only one full-length self-titled album out, what they lack in material they make up for in quality. With heavy influences from bands like The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, and The Black Keys, the band is bringing back that air of “edgy coolness” that was lost when The White Stripes called it quits and The Black Keys went on hiatus. But instead of being a direct copy of those acts, they show off their own unique take on bluesy rock. This uniqueness comes from Noah Spradlin’s keyboard that brings a completely new dynamic to their sound reminiscent of The Doors.
The night’s opener on the Woodward side is one of the more unique acts in town. Dead Man String Band is a one-man band that consists of local singer/songwriter Rob McAllister. As someone who has been in the Cincinnati music scene for a while, McAllister has played alongside many musicians within the local scene. After receiving much credit for his ability as a guitar player, he decided to start his own act. He originally started out with a three-piece band, but Rob was left without any band members the night they were supposed to debut. Instead of just abandoning the project altogether, Rob kept the project going alone, playing not only the guitar but also singing and using kick drums to play percussion. With one album out titled simply I, Dead Man String Band is blues rock with a punk rock attitude, what one fan has described as “Application/Delta Punk.” Sporting a studded leather jacket, ripped blue jeans, combat boots, and a ghoulish“goolish” mask and with excellent guitar sound and precise kick-drumming, it seems as though some long-dead blues player from the ‘30s that busked on the sidewalk for pocket change has come back from the dead to show us all how to really play the blues. If I had to compare the Dead Man’s sound to another band, I would have to say that it’s a combination of folk rock acts like Shakey Graves, Langhorn Slim, and another local blues rock band by the name of Motel Faces.
In conjunction with the festivities at The Woodward, there are also some great acts playing at MOTR, including local band (and personal favorite of mine) The Harlequins. Consisting of Michael Oliva on guitar and vocals, Alex Stanard on bass, and Rob Stamler on drums, this band has been making psych rock/noise pop in Cincinnati since 2007. With two full length albums out named Barron von Headless and One With You the band has been mentioned on such popular music sites as like The A.V. Club and Noisey. Their ‘60s psych-rock falls along the lines of such acts as Ty Segall, Dry Heaves, and Thee Oh Sees. Their energetic show will definitely get your foot tapping and your head banging in no time.
Alongside The Harlequins is another local act named Mr. Phylzzz, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Clinton Vearil and drummer Ray Redmon. Formed by former members of The Killtones in 2015, the band finds their sound in very loud and heavy alt rock, which is similar to Ty Segall on some songs and closer to the Foo Fighters on others. One of the band members’ coworkers described it best as “good music that has gone bad.” A great stage presence with lots of headbanging and animated showmanship by Veari makes Mr. Phylzzz a band you don't want to miss. The band has two EPs out on Bandcamp named Sound Like Somebody Else and Real Live Suicide, as well as a single named “Pull.”
DINGE is another band you will be able to catch at MOTR. DINGE is made up of members of another local band named Cross Country and is lead by Emily McColgan on vocals and guitar. They only have one single out on SoundCloud, "My Car is Here," but in it you'll find a more traditional punk sound. With fast guitar riffs and vocals that draw from Jennifer Calvin of Bleached, DINGE has a very well crafted sound that will surely take off in the Queen City.
This is sure to be an excellent night to see some of the best up-and-coming bands that Cincinnati has to offer. Just be sure to bring some earplugs because it's going to get loud! Don’t forget to come say hi to your friends at Inhailer that will be at the show as well!
When: Friday, March 30, 8:00 PM
Where: MOTR Pub and The Woodward Theater
How much: $8, or $5 online advance (Woodward); Free! 21+ (MOTR)