To quote Diana Vreeland, I loathe nostalgia. I can’t stand the way the entertainment industry preys on my generation’s unwillingness to move forward and observe or create anything new. But when a band (or in this case, two bands) does it right, it’s not something to loathe. It’s something to admire and cherish.
Both Bully and Heat are impressively guilty of nailing a nostalgic sound in their music, but at expert levels. This was prevalent in their Bottleneck show Thursday night. You can hear the Cobain vocals influence in Alicia Bognanno’s growl filled choruses and alternative heavy guitar riffs from the band. They’ve cut out the garbage, and what’s left is an homage to bands that paved the way for Bully (and their peers) while simultaneously creating something new that’s their own to keep.
Montreal-based Heat came flaunting everything lovable about 80’s new wave punk bands. Fronted by a vocalist with a delicious baritone voice, the band sported effortlessly groovy bass lines, catchy rhythms, and a nostalgic sound that left the audience yearning for everything that era produced. The dark and mysterious singer is the lovechild of Lou Reed and Ian Curtis, with a band that retains all the cool and calm stances of The Strokes.
Fake Limbs, a terrifying band with a fantastically menacing sound, opened up the show. The singer of this punk outfit stomped and lumbered around the stage unpredictably, much like the aggressive but questionably sober guy in every bar that has you thinking “Is he going to hit me?” But Fake Limbs’ guitar riffs would put even Metallica to shame, and that alone gets them off the hook.
Words and photos by Fally Afani