Stereo Deluxe with Sweet Dilemma and friends
Wall to wall metal mayhem at Spin Saturday night! OK, not exactly — acoustic project Blind to Beauty opened on a quieter note and Amo Joy closed out the night with music in the vein of traditional drinking songs — but in between it was the hard rock wreckin’ ball that is Stereo Deluxe and company for two solid hours.
There was a point in rock in the early ’90s when pretense went right out the window but bands were still interested in sounding BIG. The best groups of that era ditched the makeup but kept the intense showmanship, making every concert damn near an event in its own right, launching sonic assaults with heavy guitar, deep harmony and lots of big solos.
All three of the rock bands of the evening recalled that period, none more so than Sweet Dilemma, which sounded like a combination of Blondie, Slaughter and “Use Your Illusion”-era Guns ’n’ Roses. Vocalist Angela Dean showed off her a husky but rich voice with the band, delivering very focused and very loud musicianship.
Dayton-based power trio The Story Changes were up next with a blowout pop-metal sound. They’re definitely a product of the modern era, but with plenty of old-old-school Ozzy mixed into the riffs.
Stereo Deluxe brought their own unique brand of surf-punk-blues-pop-rock to the show. If I had to place them somewhere on the spectrum, it’d be at the crossroads of circa-1973 blues-rock Aerosmith, angry college rock and the anti-rock of the Clash, with lyrics like “You’re the Antichrist on the TV set.” Whatever, they can blend distinctive styles often in the same song — sometimes in the same RIFF — and make it all work.