Japanther w/PUJOL, Vacation, Heavy Cream & Diarrhea Planet at Little Hamilton, 9/19/10

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  • Photo: Lance Conzett

The warehouse known as Little Hamilton was packed with punks Sunday night, all straining to keep it together after another grueling Hootenanny weekend. Yes, the Rat Patrol Bike Club's fifth annual celebration in honor of Hank Williams' birthday was coming to a much-needed conclusion, but not without a final kick in the pants: an after-party after-show consisting of six righteous rock bands banging out jams on both sides of the floor. We arrived to view the last bits of radioactive attitude from opening act Diarrhea Planet, warming up the still-hungover crowd with growly sing-alongs about subject matter every bit as offensive as their band name. Two of the guitarists from the local dreamy beach-pop band Big Surr have joined the lineup, creating a six-piece that seamlessly builds their guitar-driven punk rock anthems into a beaver's dam of epic teamwork.

The dynamic Heavy Cream ladies and their mustached bass player jammed out a solid set of bratty-yet-danceable tunes complete with adorable cat-calling backups and punchy rhythms that are almost as impressive as their handmade fancy-cat backdrop. ... And we mean that in the best way possible. Immediately following was PUJOL, four guys who never fail to deliver our favorite garage-flavored fuzzy pop tunes while every single body danced, swayed, tapped or, at the very least, nodded their head in agreement. We were pleased to hear that the outfit's newest member, Adam Tanaka, brings the tight backbone beat. Before the touring acts hit the floor, we chatted with members of PUJOL about their upcoming 7-inch on Turbo Fruits' new label Turbo Time Records, expected out soon.

Vacation were up next, and having seen them perform once before at a house in East Nashville, we were (almost) mentally prepared for what came out of these three dudes from Cincinnati. The bright blue-haired drummer banged out spastic beats, coming straight from the revivalist neo-pop punk wave, while simultaneously singing mostly unintelligible lyrics alongside the guitarist. The unpredictable breaks kept us on our toes until the end of the set, when we promptly turned around to see the neon-orange-on-black banner emblazoned with the headliner's name. Our stomachs went tingly.

The lo-fi drum-and-bass combo from New York known as Japanther was an intense and almost-but-not-quite obnoxious blend of circular hooks over dual singing — and occasionally dual screaming — through what used to be telephone handsets, along with as samples of everything from RZA to Donnie Darko. Natural Child served up the leftovers with their typical rundown of raunchy rock 'n' roll, most notably with their best stoney tune, in which they rhetorically ask what to do about the white man's burden.

And then, as swiftly as they came, the last of those who survived the Great Hootenanny of '10 returned to the woodwork to nurse their minor bike injuries and try to ignore their ringing ears.

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