“Do you guys like Paul Simon?” asked Shark Week’s singer Ryan Hunter Mitchell. “Because we do too, but this next song is NOT by him.” That kind of loving irreverence typified Shark Week’s all-too short set at Comet Ping-Pong last Friday night. The four-piece ripped through a series of songs that paid homage to ‘60’s style garage and surf-rock by wrangling it into the twenty-first century with punk energy and surprising aplomb. Rarely have sweet harmonies mixed so well with hell-raising guitar-chord slashing.
The only negative was Comet Ping-Pong’s sound issues. It looked like Mitchell was playing some killer solos, but lead guitar lines never made it through the mix. Mitchell was frenetic enough when he played that his manic gyrations were thrilling even though he couldn’t always be heard. Also, his voice projected enough to overcome the vocal-mic issues that plagued the other bands on the bill.
D.C. rock veterans Lorelei played an artsy, feedback drenched set. Their rhythm section kept things interesting, drawing upon Latin and jazz influences to give groove that’s usually absent from post-punk indie acts.
Brooklyn-based quartet The Babies suffered the most from Comet’s sound problems, as their vocals throughout the majority of their set were drowned out. But despite the technical difficulties, their set was lukewarm, consisting of run-of-the-mill chord progressions, plodding bass-lines, and rote, stiffly-delivered lead guitar lines that didn’t translate well onstage. All things aside, the show as a whole was fairly solid-and as a bonus-we survived the Apocalypse.
Photos By John-Paul Zajackowski
- Shark Week
- The Babies