A crowded, dusty basement on Bloomington's westside played host Saturday night to three tastefully jarring bands.
Local three-piece Pink Houses, who opened the show, is fronted by Defiance Ohio's upright bassist and vocalist Ryan Woods, who also founded Bloomington's volunteer-run art and record shop Sweet Hickory. The band's sound mixes fast, steady drums and discordant vocals with grungy guitar riffs, creating an old-school punk sound with a biting lyrical sensibility.
Then came Bloomington-based Landlord, which consists of Door-Keys members Chris Mott and Matte Cathcart, and Will Staler, who plays drums and harmonica for Defiance Ohio. Landlord rages with the fortitude of a punk band, but sounds more like Midwest rock-n-roll with a sprinkling of pop punk vocals and power chords. A pop sensibility and dark, heady riffage make this band worth watching.
To complete the trifecta of bands who share members with Defiance Ohio, Theo Hilton, the drummer for Defiance Ohio, is the frontman for the band Nana Grizol. Also doing double-duty, Matte Cathcart, drummer for the Door-Keys and Landlord, rearranged his drums and played his second set of the night for Nana Grizol. Laura Carter played along with Cathcart on another set of drums for some songs. She and Robbie Cucciaro are both former members of Neutral Milk Hotel, and they accounted for the eclectic array of brass and winds instruments that give Nana Grizol its jazzy, DIY sound.
Bloomington was the band's third stop on their six-day tour. They played the previous day at Idapalooza in Dowelltown, Tenn, and will be making pit stops in Chicago, Detroit, and Lexington before ending up back at home in Athens, Georgia, where the band then plans to begin recording a new album.