Saturday, Feb. 2
No matter what band he’s fronting or what name he goes by, Rusty Redenbacher — DJ, MC, man of many talents — is one of the most dynamic presences in Indianapolis music. His latest undertaking, heavy hip-hop metal band Lazarus, mixes some blasts from his past with a propulsion right into the future. Their most recent show and 14th performance altogether was at Birdy’s on Saturday, with Blaknote opening.
Lazarus is a full-speed-ahead rock project, spiced up by Rusty’s hip-hop approach to the vocals, a rat-tat-tat staccato that occasionally flips into a smooth and silky glide reminiscent of the Mudkids.
The heavy-rock stuff, such as “Double Negative,” brings to mind Rollins Band, especially those times when Rollins seemed a two-megaton bomb primed to explode. Rusty prowls the stage and mans the mike like a coiled-up snake striking with every other rhyme.
Lazarus reunites Rusty with old Birdmen of Alcatraz cohort Dino Codalata; if you’re old enough to remember THAT name and had the chance to see them the first time around, you also probably remember what “stage dynamo” really means. Codalata is a fiery lead guitarist, in a classic heavy rock, alternative-style.
I can’t go far without praising bassist Jesse Reddington, who has all the wah-wah effects of the funk greats at the ready, but also delivers primal lead bass sounds in the vein of Primus and the crazier Rush stuff of once upon a time. Drummer T.J. Reddington finishes out the rhythm section with a primal, relentless beat. I could go on with the metaphors, but none of them perfectly match up. Lazarus is trying to be its own thing, as opposed to a mix of a bunch of others, and more power to them for it.
Lazarus next plays the Vogue Feb. 7 with Hurt and Virgin Millionaires.
For more info: MySpace.com/dblneg