The TLA in Philly was feeling mixed emotions on Friday, April 29th.
Wispy indie pop Colleen Green, angry Defeater, aggressive Turnstile and moody Basement all brought their various sounds to the South Street venue with one defining commonality: they all sound like 90’s throwbacks.
Colleen Green took to the stage around 8:30 to an already packed TLA. She opened with the title track from her new release I Want To Grow Up, which has been hailed as a fuzzy 90’s weed pop (a safe analysis being that her twitter name is @collengreen420) album inspired by the Ramones. Green’s set was fun and poppy, yet still punk as hell and reminded me of watching the Simpson’s on TV after dinner. With elements of post-punk and indie rock, yet lyrics like “Cause I can’t hold a conversation, I can’t even pay attention,” Green’s stoner pop anthems are relatable and fun, and I definitely broke out my embarrassing Taylor Swift at the Grammy’s style dance moves.
The next band to play was Defeater, I never really got around to listening to this band much before seeing them live, but I know the Boston band has a HUGE fan base. As soon has the band began to play I looked to the girl shooting pictures next to me and said “I am so nervous,” to which she replied “Yeah, one of us is going to get kicked in the head.”
Their singer Derek Archambault, sings with the intensity and passion of a pack of hellhounds. I tried making my way to the back of the venue but stopped when I saw the Circle Pit being formed for crowd favorites, “No Savior” and “Empty Glass.” Definitely a huge difference in sound than Colleen Green but still enjoyable to listen to.
After Defeater, Turnstile came on. Turnstile is a hardcore band with members from all over, including Maryland and Ohio. I’ve been a fan of this band for a pretty long time. They’ve played tiny VFW clubs in my hometown where the Hardcore music scene is very prevalent. They’re still riding high off of their newest album Nonstop Feeling, which is an album that will certainly take its place as a Hardcore classic in years to come.
Their set was high energy with crowd surfers left and right including Turnstile’s own vocalist Brendan Yates. Their sound is very straightforward, raw and aggressive. Some of their songs have an element of old school hip hop and early 90’s punk, but overall they retain those main elements that elevate them into the realm of hard rock.
Lastly, Basement took the stage with dimmed lighting opening with “Whole,” which is off colormekindness, an album that is certainly up there on my “Greatest of All Time” list. Basement has a grungy, moody sound to their music that I love. Staying loyal to the theme of 90’s throwback I always thought that they could stand alongside of the greatest 90’s punks. This entire band is filled with amazingly talented musicians. Andrew Fisher the band’s vocalist has a deep, raspy voice (and Morrissey style dance moves) that pairs perfectly with the heavy guitars courtesy of Ronan Crix and Alex Henery. Duncan Stewart churns out sick bass lines and James Fisher brings it all together with his “backbone of the band” drumming.
The sound production was as crisp as it ever was at the TLA. Overall, I can say with honesty Basement is one of the tightest bands I’ve ever seen. If you missed out on this tour, you’ll probably have to wait a while to see them again as the English band is headed to Australia next.