The three-piece formerly known as Ringo Starwars took their first stage since May with a newfound style, urgency, and moniker: Tanning Bats. The first few tracks shot like a semi-automatic in the night, jolting the small but encouraging crowd from our Hump Day malaise. Tasty hooks to draw you in, rapid switches, a reliable chorus, and just enough noise to keep you guessing. The fusion of smart garage rock on guitar and the disco/funk in the rhythm section, combined with Assaf’s angsty vocals made for an impressively refreshing take on the genre. The last track and clear crowd favorite at the end was ‘Something to do,’ a track that took us back to the epic, sold-out Oh Sees show a month ago at the same stage.
We all know In the Red. If you don’t, we hope that at least the weather has been nice under the rock you’ve been living under, because you’ve been missing some of the most iconic records in garage rock in recent history. Seeing Charles Francis Moonheart II’s guitar prowess finally puts a face to a sound I’ve loved for a number of years with Ty Segall, Fuzz, and Goggs. From the first track, an enveloping wall of sound came on like a freight train; a crescendo of intensity coming to a head with an ultimate headbanger. While the crowd was smaller than I expected, those of us in the front row had enough enthusiasm and hair to make up for it. The goal for the night was to figure out what separates CFM from these other famous acts, and in this, I seem to have failed: many tracks open with artful tranquility, one of my favorites even in a country western vibe, before delving back into a fuzzy, adrenaline-fueled nightmare which, while epic, became admittedly somewhat predictable. In any case, the gentlemen on stage played a great show and the new Homegrown Paranoia 7″ sounds great.
For more killer Berlin gigs, check out Greyzone’s show calendar.
Chris is an Aquarius from Indiana, Belgium, Turkey, Netherlands, and now Berlin. He’s recently married to a total rock star, Annalie, and loves listening to records too loud and attending shows.