Buck Gooter Record Release with Palberta

WKDU Presents

Buck Gooter Record Release with Palberta

David Vassalotti

Fri, February 22, 2019

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

Buck Gooter - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Buck Gooter
Finer Thorns is the Buck Gooter’s 18th album in 14 years, and second for independent Philadelphia label Ramp Local. The duo -- self-described as a "primal industrial blues band" -- has managed to gain the recognition of underground luminaries like Henry Rollins, and has toured both the United States (every year for the past 14 years) and Europe with A Place To Bury Strangers, Guerrilla Toss, The Sediment Club and ONO - their live shows are possibly even more energetic than their breakneck recordings. In performance, vocalist/synthethist/percussionist Billy Brat will flail around the room, brandishing his iconic serpent-like facial expression -- tongue out, eyes rolled into the back of his head. Terry Turtle dawns his signature mask and chain mail, his acoustic guitar hangs low around his neck and is adorned with a hallucinatory painted finish; he's a stoic figure while Billy thrashes about the stage.

Musically, Buck Gooter's sound is filled with manic howls, melodic synth sequences, crisp and pummeling drum machines, and highly distorted guitar, resulting in a cacophonous punk-industrial haze a la Nine Inch Nails, Iggy Pop and Grinderman. Finer Thorns is their most refined record, but by no means should “refined” be confused with “gentle.” In many ways, Finer Thorns is a protest album, musing on the environment, violence, resource allocation, and colonialism - spoiler alert: they’re not into colonialism. Buck Gooter’s interpersonal dynamic is also moving, and imperative to understanding why the band is so unique. There’s about a thirty year age gap between Billy and Terry, but you probably couldn’t tell by the band’s balance. Spend a few minutes talking to Buck Gooter, and you’re liable to be shocked and inspired. In the band’s 14 years, Buck Gooter’s been a subcultural force, but following their first LP on Ramp Local, 100 Bells, Buck Gooter’s finally started to crest their head out of their underground hole.
Palberta - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
In their formative years, Palberta’s live performances often involved moments of synchronized dancing and humorous performance art in between or during songs. Touring the states extensively, they developed a reputation as a “must-see” live band on the DIY circuit. Over the course of the last five years, they've honed in on a distinct and arresting sound, incorporating gorgeous three-part harmonies into their chaotic grooves and working with a slew of talented musicians from within their circle. Eventually the mercurial nature of their early performances began to manifest itself in their music, with each Palberta release proving to be more full of surprises than the last.

Roach Goin' Down is Palberta's most impressive album to date. Twenty-two tracks combine the band's signature frenetic instrumentation with a thoroughly developed pop sensibility that fans merely glimpsed on previous releases. The songs are lovingly crafted and shine with the confidence of a band discovering new musical possibilities and having a blast doing it. As usual, their excitement is sonically palpable, yet this time it's grounded by a lyrical nuance and newfound melancholy that gives the record an air of maturity compared to previous releases.

Recorded by frequent collaborator Paco Cathcart (The Cradle), Roach Goin' Down is a brilliantly constructed work of beauty and bile. Palberta continue to pave the way as innovators in the field of guitar-based music, delivering a barrage of twisted, catchy hymns that manage to be both challenging and feverishly compelling. – Charlie Dore-Young
David Vassalotti - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
David Vassalotti
It's 2018. Guitar music is as good as dead, exiled into irrelevance after decades of debasement. David Vassalotti (known for his work with a slew of Florida-based projects, most notably as co-founder of 4AD recording artists Merchandise) has crawled out from under his rock to record and release a record called Guitar Dream. Out of moroseness? Hope? Sarcasm? Are guitars’ death and life but a dream?

A quasi-breakup album voiced through a protean pastiche of dejected characters, this new record sees David Vassalotti at his most up-front and confessional. Vassalotti's guitar and songwriting work in Merchandise is much more apparent on this album compared to his last record, 2015's omni-genre and collage-heavy Broken Rope. On Guitar Dream, he channels some of Merchandise's melancholic post-punk balladry, but this record maintains a decidedly bleaker and more literary tone. Vassalotti is known and respected for his guitar playing, but his abilities as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist are finally given opportunity to clearly shine, thanks to the production and engineering talents of co-conspirator and Merchandise frontman Carson Cox, in whose Silver Spring basement Guitar Dream was tracked.

Fractured glam, keyboard trumpets and, yes, the occasional guitar solo prop up Vassalotti's fragile voice throughout the album's 10 tracks. Blankets of reverb and delay ghostify these maudlin pop nuggets. This is music best experienced alone, whether that be sitting on your unkempt bedsheets in the midnight hour or headphoned in the anonymous flow of the dreaded morning commute. In the tradition of other ambitious loners, fans of Leonard Cohen, Tim Buckley, Cass McCombs and Franco Battiato will find much to love here.
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125