Review of Modsbury Park 4: Mods vs. Rockers - Dr. Void & The Death Machines, Mod Fun, The Brixton Riot @ Asbury Lanes 7/9/10
When I first heard Modsbury Park 4 was subtitled "Mods vs. Rockers", my immediate thought was of an old cheap B-movie involving a rumble between the two factions. Thankfully the only rumbling was that coming from the sound of musical instruments clashing.
Modsbury Park is the brainchild of Mod Fun, a New Jersey band from the 80's, that gained a lot of acclaim and a sizeable national fanbase before calling it quits. Over the last few years that have resurfaced and still have a knack for taking the sounds of British Mod music and making them sound both retro and current (not an easy feat).
For this incarnation of Modsbury Park, they were joined by another amazingly talented band that derives their sound from Mod music, the Brixton Riot, as well as the punkabilly rockers, Dr. Void & The Death Machines. Having the show at Asbury Lanes just helped to set the mood for the night. There's just something great about that venue...maybe it's the retro bowling alley look (where you can bowl while watching the bands), maybe it's that they only play records (and good ones at that) between bands. Certainly the wonderful food at the snack bar helps, including vegetarian fare and tater tots.
The evening opened with a set by the Brixton Riot. They scorched through songs from their EP "sudden fiction", and songs that will be on their forthcoming album (that will hopefully be out soon). I don't get to see these guys much lately as they've largely been recording the new album, but I always enjoy their music, and a well placed the Mighty Lemon Drop's cover was an added bonus.
After the good mood that The Brixton Riot put me in, mod Fun took to the stage to electrify the audience with a set that included songs from throughout their career, including several from their most recent album, "futurepresent". They also playeda cover from The Jam , and Badfinger's, "day after day" (which I admit I confused with an 80's Joe Jackson tune...d'oh!)
So far 2 bands, and 2 amazing sets.
The last band of the night was Dr. Void & The Death Machines, the "rockers" in the Mods vs. Rockers melee. This is a side project made up of 2/3 of Nerve Tonic (the lead singer and drummer), along with a former band member of Goba on stand-up bass. Their sound is a hybrid of rockabilly and punk, leaning a little more on the rockabilly side, which is fine by me as they pull this off like veterans, even though they only did their first gig 2 months ago.
I regret that I did not manage to stay until the end of Dr. Void's set, but that was due to the fact that they didn't go on until 12:30am, and I had been up since before 6am for my day job. Late night shows are tough when you work all day, but this was one show worth going to no matter how tired I was.