Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, The Cherry Valence are a rock-and-roll band, straight, no chaser, splitting the musical difference between '60s garage-rock and '80s metal. The band's latest album, Riffin', couldn't have been more appropriately titled, and the bet here is that the band's tunnel-vision thunder will come across even better on the stage. Valence will be at the Hi-Tone Café on Thursday, March 13th, and will be joined by Pittsburgh's Modey Lemon, a perhaps more compelling outfit.
A bluesy, raw drums-plus-guitar duo, Modey Lemon would seem to be riding a current indie-rock trend, but the way they splice their protopunk blues with Bo Diddley beats, owing as much to the Animals as to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, inspires belief. One bio of the band describes their sound as "minimalistic excess rock," which, judging from their eponymous debut, about sums it up, except that this band explodes where so many similar outfits are content to merely rock out. Chances are you won't be able to make out many of their seemingly B-movie-inspired lyrics, and chances are it won't matter much.
Rounding out the bill is Milwaukee's garage-rockers The Mistreaters, onetime labelmates of Memphis' Lost Sounds, who will join Cherry Valence on Estrus Records when their new album drops this summer.
Also at the Hi-Tone this week, Monday, March 17th, are Richmond, Virginia's Avail. Avail has roots in the much-revered Washington, D.C., hardcore scene that grew up around Minor Threat and their perhaps more famous spinoff, Fugazi. But rather than the art-rock, funk, reggae, or even "emo" sounds that touch most D.C. punk, Avail's sound is more old-fashioned rock-and-roll, with the populist punch and true-believer grandeur of Rancid or current Fat Wreck labelmates NOFX. This is punk-rock sans pretense and, on their most recent album, Front Porch Stories (engineered and produced by Brian Paulson, who previously worked the nobs for such spiritual and musical predecessors as Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, and Dinosaur Jr.), it sounds damn good. Avail will be joined by New Jersey's Ensign, who boast a more traditional brand of hardcore. n