Home Music Tambourines, tinsel and special eggs with the Demon’s Claws

Tambourines, tinsel and special eggs with the Demon’s Claws

by Archives March 3, 2009

Who said punk was dead? Not only is punk doing just fine, it had a hilarious and at times bizarre twist at the Divan Orange on Friday night.
The first band to step up to the punk plate was Toronto’s Teen Anger. Adding a garage feel to the mix, the band kicked off the night with a fast paced hard beat number. The crowd of 20-somethings began to feel the frantic beats and pushed forward to get closer to the stage.
On stage, Teen Anger kept the pace at a high after the open. Grabbing a tambourine following a swig from a beer bottle, the lead singer slung the mic round his neck and began to pound away. The mix of dirty fast packed guitar, bass, and drums came together with the lead singer’s vocals, which could range from smooth to rough in an instant.
Chicago’s the Smith Westerners had the job of following up and seemed out of place. While setting up, gold tinsel was draped over amps and the drum set, and fake flowers were wrapped around the mics. The crowd looked on, not exactly sure what to make of the 18-year-olds setting up. Opening with a burst of glitter blown into the crowd, the Smith Westerners seemed to have shown up to the wrong show.
Even with all the glitter and glam, the band wasn’t as impressive as the opener. The set went on and ended without hitting any climax, the crowd having a bit of difficulty getting into their rock with a touch of oldies licks thrown in.
Next came the oddball punk rock Ramones-inspired act known as Nobunny. The Smith Westerners, who would be backing Nobunny for the set as the Side City Sluts, came out in rabbit ears and cut out tuxedo vests. Then a bunny-masked tuxedo-vested spandex-short-wearing singer came from the bar to the stage in a cake sparkler stiletto dash. Stepping up on stage, he began to hand out “special eggs.”
The set began with a guitar amp blowing out. Thinking quick, the band switched up instruments as the search for another amp began. The bunny explained that it was all just a “bad dream.” About half way through the set, and one working guitar amp later, Nobunny stood on stage stripped down to red boxer briefs with “PUNK” written across his stomach.
Nobunny brought smiles to the crowd and even a few laughs and reminded everyone that punk rock can be funny too.
Finally, a local band turned headliners, Demon’s Claws, were ready to hit the golden tinsel and stiletto-strewn stage (Nobunny had left them behind). Classic country music warmed up the crowd as the band set up for a country-punk showdown.
The bass’ heavy twang was quickly followed by country-inspired guitar and bass. The lead singer’s southern string vocals completed the package. Country and punk can coexist, and it sounds good.
Pressing on, the crowd began to jump along and the band responded by joining in. At one point the lead guitarist and bassist began to knock into each other mid-song. The bassist even picked up the forgotten tinsel and stretched it over the guitarist’s head. After a few songs the singer took a moment to thank his mom for “raising him right.”
Punk is very much alive and has even picked up a few varieties on the way. Just think of bunny punk or even country punk as uncharted territory only waiting to be heard.

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