Wednesday, February 27, 2008

THE LAMPS live review

The Lamps at the Scene bar, live review, LA RECORD

Full disclosure requires me to state that the Lamps played at my birthday party a few years ago. And that they totally left the room throbbing with pleasure. Montgomery Buckles’ loud gruff voice and Tim Ford’s bouncy bass playing couldn’t have been more appropriate for a packed-to-the-brim room of inebriated young adults. Last Monday night at the Scene, Buckles, Ford, and drummer Josh Erkman took the stage after their future European tour partner Haunted George served up a big ol’ “Pile O’Meat,” but the atmosphere left me nostalgic for my birthday fun. The Lamps thrive in small sweaty basements that don’t have enough clearance for deep inhalations, and the Scene was a Glendale bar on a Monday evening—no more, no less. I was having a blast, though, despite Ford’s opening disclaimer that he doesn’t usually play in “shit mode,” a statement inspired by the unremedied muddy amp feedback apparently left by George’s accomplice Jimmy Hole. Roth took the mic for “Bob the Cat,” a track off their In The Red full length, and Buckles commanded the Lamps’ spasmodic thigh-slapping noise for the remainder. In The Red describes the Lamps as “mongoloid frenzy music,” and when Buckles is straining every vein in this throat to screech out the lyrics to “Eliseo,” the primitive implications are definitely perceptible. Word of advice: book this band for your next party. If you’re lucky they’ll say yes. I’m almost thinking about pushing my birthday up in the rotation just to get the Lamps back where they belong: drunk and smothered by a large mass of happy sticky people.


Jason 'Mr. Talent USA" said...

While I was reading your review, the lyrics for "Sexy Back" popped into my head without warning.

Don't let me go, etc.

go lamps!

rena said...

From Tim Ford:

For the record I didn't blame Jimmy for the amp problems. The Black
lips just borrowed it for their west coast tour and for some reason
it is stuck on Tremelo mode which I don't think sounds too good with
a bass. I haven't had the time to see if I could fix it yet. I was a
little miffed that night because we were going on right then and I
couldn't really do anything about it. Jimmy was playing a guitar so
that is why it sounded great when he played through it. Truth be told
that amp head was a present from Jimmy Hole about 5 years ago so it
would be fine if he broke it.