Live Review: Perfect Form, Colfax Speed Queen at O’Leaver’s…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:38 pm February 3, 2020

Perfect Form at O’Leaver’s, Jan. 31, 2020.

by Tim McMahan,

I had every intention of seeing InDreama Friday night at Reverb and then racing cross-town to O’Leaver’s, but the evening got the better of me and I didn’t get rolling until around 11. Figuring I’d probably already missed part of InDreama’s set, I instead headed out to the club, where the second band was still doing their pre-set soundcheck.

Colfax Speed Queen is a Denver five-piece who’ve opened for the likes of The Sonics, Thee Oh Sees, King Khan & BBQ and Prettiest Eyes, among others. Though they have that minor-key, organ-driven thing going, their style is too straight-forward and riffy to fall into the psychobilly category. Instead, they have refined garage-rock power more in common with Oh Sees or Ty Segall.

Colfax Speed Queen at O’Leaver’s, Jan. 31, 2020.

Frontman Matthew Loui on guitar and vocals, with keen serial killer looks, was a true showman, and this band was tight as a tic. Lead guitarist Jacob Bond killed on the solos and the rhythm section was right on. It was definitely another one of those classic O’Leaver’s sets that I wasn’t expecting and was a pleasant surprise. Check out their latest, 2019’s Dirty Mirror, on Bandcamp. You won’t be disappointed.

Too bad so few people were there to see them. The crowd of 20 or so consisted mostly of music people, no doubt on hand to see Perfect Form, a new incarnation of Pharmacy Spirits with the added dimension of golden-age vet Oli Blaha on bass sounding as golden as ever.

Without a doubt, Perfect Form is influenced by bands like Joy Division, Gang of Four, very early Cure, Wire, all the usual post-punk suspects. They do it very well, driven by a super-talented rhythm section of Blaha and drummer Courtney Nore, who remains one of my all-time faves behind a drum kit.

The band is rounded out by frontman singer/guitarist Jim Reilly and guitarist/vocalist Eric Maly. Reilly handles most all the vocals but Maly jumps in now and again with some added angst. The guitar work is as you’d expect from this style of band — jangly and precise, lean and simple. It’s the bass that’s driving the songs, with Blaha playing most of the set pushed into a corner with has back to the audience.

Late in the set they played a song called “Terminal Beach” that had all of the above and something I can’t quite put my finger on that reminded me of Omaha/Lincoln in the mid-’90s, something about the way Reilly and Maly were singing the chorus “If I could just fall asleep / I’d make you promise that you’d never let me wake,” that sounded like every local punk band at the time. Reckless fun.

This was their first show ever. Why they chose Omaha to play it when they’re from Lincoln is something of a mystery. I’m happy they did.

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Not much happening this week show-wise until Friday night’s Little Brazil gig at The Sydney. I’ll try filling the gap by posting about stuff I’ve been listening to lately. Check back.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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