Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Dopamines, The House That Gloria Vanderbilt, Bi-Furious, Das Kapital at Mad Maggie's:

So here is the first installment of my weekly music blog for the Elgin Courier. It was Monday night's Dopamines show at Mad Maggie's in Elgin, IL. Rock!

NOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, sings backup in Rex Catapult and blogs about the local music scene Wednesdays exclusively on Between the Bylines.

After devouring a delicious sub sandwich for dinner, I headed over to Mad Maggie's (51 S. Grove Ave., Elgin) Monday night to catch a good ol' weeknight punk show. Headlining were The Dopamines, touring from Ohio in support of their new album, "Expect the Worst," out on Paper and Plastick Records. And supporting were some great Elgin/Chicago bands that have a tightly-knit following, but always have flown under the radar.

Elgin's The House That Gloria Vanderbilt and Bi-Furious and Chicago's Das Kapital opened the show. The House That Gloria Vanderbilt features Todd Pot, better-known as the vocalist from his former band, Apocalypse Hoboken. Bi-Furious features members of Elgin's Vacation Bible School and Sass Dragons, and Das Kapital features Marc Ruvalo, owner of Johann's Face Records. Vacation Bible School and Rex Catapult were supposed to play but couldn't.

More on the Elgin bands, links, after the jump.

Bi-Furious are a skate/thrash/hardcore band. The four-piece's songs were short, fast and aggressive, like a 21st Century Minor Threat or JFA.

The House That Gloria Vanderbilt strays from the standard punk rock formula, as they were more experimental punk/rock and sounded heavily influenced by the Butthole Surfers.

Das Kapital was a little more melodic, drawing influence from earlier punk bands like Naked Raygun and The Replacements.

The Dopamines are notorious for their rowdy (in a camaraderie sort of way) shows, where it's not uncommon to see beer cans flying at them or being dumped on any of the four members at any given time, or people crowd surfing and most definitely singing along.

They share a similar sound to The Copyrights and aren't out of arm's reach of The Ramones, at least as far as influence goes. They know their power chords and use them tactfully. The dudes played songs mostly off "Expect the Worst," but threw a few old ones in there, like "Molly," another song with a memorable and viral chorus. Most of the new stuff follows suit in that infectious vein. Songs like "You'd Make a Good Horse Cop" and "Cincinnati Harmony" echoed around in my head long after hearing them for the first time, and hearing them live (and with another guitar to fill out the sound) was great. I left Mad Maggie's with a copy of "Expect the Worst" on both CD and LP Monday night.

I almost forgot: Not playing on the recordings, but touring with The Dopamines on second guitar is Mike Yannich, best known as the singer/drummer for The Ergs! (NOTE: The exclamation point is an essential part of their name). After a few more Midwest shows, The Dopamines will play Canada and then continue touring the U.S. until the end of August.

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