Live Review: The Coffin Killers; Feirin’s birthday bash (featuring Conchance, Capgun Coup, Bear Country, and Honeybee) tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 9:56 pm November 17, 2007

I snuck into The 49’r last night just in time to see The Coffin Killers’ set. It’s the first time I’ve been in the Niner in probably a year or more. The only thing that’s changed is the lighting. It was darker in there than I remembered, as if the overhead lights had been turned off. I liked it. What hasn’t changed is the enormous crowds. As always is the case, if you get there late (as I did) you’re going to have a tough time finding a place to watch the band without being in someone’s way. I lucked out and noticed that no one was standing in front of the trashcan along the wall by the pickle machine and found my spot for the evening, just a foot or so from the band — actually, a great spot.

Coffin Killers play old school punk with a guitar rock attitude. In other words, there’s plenty of melody and actual singing that float on top of the constant barrage of classic punk guitar riffs. While I love punk rock, I’ve never had an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre. Sure, I know the usual dozen or so British and NYC ’70s punk bands that everyone else knows, but I don’t know the obscure stuff by rote like I assume most of the people who were standing in the first three or four rows did. Or maybe I’m just assuming they were punk experts by their tattoos. Regardless, my forced comparison for CK comes by way of ’90s-’00s rock act The Explosion, who actually had a similar sound to The Loved Ones, U.S. Bombs and Strike Anywhere, and who counted Social Distortion among their biggest influences. Any band fronted by Lee Meyerpeter is going to get a few Social D comparisons because his voice so closely resembles Mike Ness’ voice. That said, of all the bands I’ve seen Meyerpeter play in, this one was the least Ness-ian of the bunch. It’s also my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I like Bad Luck Charm and The Filter Kings, but I enjoy listening to this straight-out melodic punk more than BLC’s cacophony and FK’s southern-fried rural punk. This is power rock with a punk snarl, the kind of music that gets people in the mood to fight. The set-up is simple — Meyerpeter on lead guitar and vocals, looking like a construction guy, his eyes covered by dock worker’s stocking cap. Backing him were bassist Ryan McLaughlin (Race for Titles) and drummer Matt Baum (ex-Desaparecidos, ex-89 Cubs). Baum replaced legendary drummer Jeff Heater, who was celebrating his birthday somewhere in San Diego last night. Meyerpeter toasted Heater in his absence, and the crowd joined in. Few people can match Heater for his over-the-top all-over-the-place drumming style that cranks up the sweat and energy to 11. Baum pumps things up just as effectively, but does it more simply. He’s got a rugged drumming style, bashing the cymbals as hard as he can while wearing what appears to be shooting range ear muffs. Baum is well known for getting up between songs and yelling at the band and the crowd, but he never got up last night, and he didn’t do any yelling until the final song. Rounding out the four-piece was another guitarist, a young guy that looked like a member of The Clash. I don’t know his name, but I’m told he either is or was a member of Cruisin’ Rosie — blazing second guitar that churned it out while Lee did his solos. The band only played for about a half-hour and closed with rocker doused in feedback that still buzzed through the monitors while Baum began to tear down his drum set. Great stuff, indeed.

So what’s going on tonight?

If you’ve been to a One Percent show, chances are you’ve met Feirin, who’s been known to take your money down at Sokol Underground. Well, Feirin and her brothers are celebrating their birthdays tonight at Slowdown with a stellar lineup that includes a slew of the city’s hottest new bands: Conchance, Capgun Coup, Bear Country and Honeybee. It looks like they’re hosting it in the big room, so this may be the best chance you’ll have of seeing Omaha’s Next Wave of indie bands all in one night. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Saddle Creek Bar, Sarah Benck (acoustic) and Bleeding Ophans (apparently a derivative of No Blood Orphan) are opening for the Big Al Band CD release party. The Big Al Band is Al Hatfield on guitar and vocals and Metal Barbie on bass and vocals playing noise metal. The first 100 through the door get a free CD. $5, 9 p.m. Other than a Dec. 15 benefit show, this is the last gig currently scheduled for the Saddle Creek Bar, according to their website. Enjoy it while you can.

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