April 6th 2013
Bud and Tooties – New Philadelphia, OH
It was with a little trepidation that I ventured to Bud and Tooties on Saturday for the Gunt Puncher’s CD Release show. Not because of threats to my physical well being resulting from being a music critic, but because I’ve been sober for nearly a year and I was going to see two bands known for being heavy drinkers. Luckily for me AA has given me many tools to handle sobriety and I managed to avoid the hundred of beers and shots that were drank, spilled, smashed or otherwise enjoyed.
I didn’t make it in time to see all of The Said So‘s set, but the two songs I caught really impressed me. This is a far cry from the ambivalence I’ve held for them in the past. I’ve seen and heard them before and they never really impressed me. I didn’t dislike them but I didn’t really like them and I’m not sure why. As a writer I’m always searching for a way to express myself through words and I still cannot put my finger on how I feel about this band. While I want to give them another listen, I’m still not sure I’ll be able to describe what I like or don’t about them.
The Most Beautiful Losers played their unique brand of drunken rock and roll with the finesse and aplomb I’ve come to expect. While they downplayed a lot of the crying-in-my-beer country aspect that I hear on their recordings and stuck with fun sing-along punk for this show, it’s still easy to see why they’re one of the biggest bands in the area. The difference between most local band and major bands is that most local bands don’t consistently write great songs (sorry guys). Chris Bentley has a knack for writing tight, simple punk tunes that put a smile on my face, tug at my heartstrings and have me singing along by the second listen. I feel kinda bad for it, but I really hope that Chris gets his heart broken a few more times so we can have more awesome tunes from the Losers.
Gunt Punchers took to the stage and immediately started with their back to basics punk. Sure, they mix in the occasional bit of ska or some death metal vocals but at the core they’re simply a three-chord, moving bass line punk band, which is what’s so great about them. I’m so used to seeing bands that want to write mega-complex compositions that it’s refreshing to hear something simple and catchy. I hadn’t heard much of their music before this show (well that’s not true, I’d heard it when I was drinking heavily and just don’t remember it) but I still found myself singing along with a few of the “Hey, Hey, Hey” and “Whoa-oh-oh” parts. With songs titles like “Johnny Frontbutt” and “Sniffing Bea Arthur’s Panties” there isn’t much not to love. They also performed some great covers. A few retained their original feel and sound (“We are 138” “Rebel Yell”) but they really shined by putting their own spin on Jerry Reed’s “Eastbound and Down” and especially Nena’s “99 Red Balloons.”
The best part is that now I have a CD I can listen to so the next time I see them I’ll be able to do a little more singing along and the familiarity with their material will lend to a much more enjoyable experience. I’m already on the last track of “10,000 Flushes” but I think I might just have to give it another spin.
Make sure to check out the Gunt Punchers at the Put a bang in Cancer benefit May 4 at Moose Island and in their music video below.
If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy Bob on Blonde and Most Beautiful Losers at Buzzbin Shop, Apr. 1