Review: The Downtown Struts at The Melody Inn 

****
The Downtown Struts
The Melody Inn
Wednesday, June 27

click to enlarge The Downtown Struts rocked The Mel June 27. - SUBMITTED PHOTO

These Chicago-based punks blasted the Melody Inn crowd in the latest of the Mel's Wasted Wednesday series, touring in support of Victoria!, their May release by Pirate Press Records. The Struts brought their run-away, rock 'n' roll presence and played a set from Victoria!, Anchors, and Sail The Seas Dry.

The four-piece has a knack for storytelling, like their heroes Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Raw truth comes through in the verses, and it's propelled further by powerful lines of chorus. The older styles of rock get mixed up with rebellious instability, creating the passionate Victoria! album, and the driving performance that accompanies it.

Fans sang along to the older songs with loyal intensity, and gained fervor to help belt out the choruses of the Strut's newer tracks. The audience danced back and forth in front of the stage with their arms around one another from the beginning of the Strut's first song, and continued with the same energy throughout the rest of the set. Beer cans were thrown, shoulders knocked together, and smiling faces bobbed to the beat.

The three acts before The Downtown Struts swept over the venue like thunder. Like Indy's own party-sludge residents Male Bondage, who nailed a distortion-filled theme-song cover of 90s television staple, "The X-Files." Swag boasting post-hardcore enthusiasts Ultra Ultra (Cincinnati) showcased their progressive chops, and psychedelic garage-surf trio No Coast (Kokomo) impressed the crowd with a fiery performance.

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