REVIEW: Twin Peaks, Tweens, & Penicillin Baby at the Stone Fox

photo-7After the disappointment that was the Olivia Jean show at Grimey’s, I needed some actual rock n roll to revitalize my faith in the genre. Luckily, the main event of the night was already set in motion: the youngin’s from Chicago known as Twin Peaks had just pulled into town along with those other youngin’s from Cincinnati known as Tweens to play a gig at the Stone Fox. This already ambitious bill was rounded out by our buddies in Penicillin Baby, who were set to play their last home gig for a good while. If you suck at math, that’s three killer bands on one bill on a fucking Tuesday night no less. So the Stone Fox’s overpriced drinks be damned, you can bet your ass I wasn’t going to miss out on this.

Penicillin Baby kicked off the night at 9:30 with the room already packed and I’m not saying just “packed for an opening band” neither. After they opened with “All Dolled Up,” I turned around and saw that a crowd had literally swarmed in behind me to get their own dose and for good reason too; the band fucking killed it. I might be biased because I’ve been friends with the band for a long time, but with that aside, I can say with undiluted confidence that they are one of the best bands to come out of this stagnating scene in a good while. Their set was only long enough for me to finish a beer, but they opened the fucking show up with style.

I grabbed another beer and walked outside to brave the cold for a cigarette or four. Unfortunately for my chain-smoking ass, the turnaround for bands that night was incredibly quick. It couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes after Pen Baby went on that Tweens started playing. Quick turnarounds aren’t a bad thing at all, but this particular night, it fucked me up and made me miss half of their set. But from what I caught from this trio, I dug. They write fast, head-shaking punk songs and they play em fast as fuck and with enough attitude to pulverize any naysayers. The band spit it out and the crowd ate it up without hesitation.

Twin Peaks were up next. The last time I had seen the band was at the Mercy Lounge back in May. They had put on a great gig, but it had been somewhat hampered by the sound. Mercy has never had great sound and somehow, the sound guy over there always fucks it up by burying the vocals underneath everything. This wasn’t the problem at the Stone Fox, who’s sound guy apparently knows how to mix.

The band powered through a set supporting their newly released LP, Wild Onion. I like these kids. While a disconcerting amount of rock bands nowadays are full of careerists concerned with making the right moves, these guys are not afraid to kick up shit once in a while and have a good time just for the fucking sake of it. Like a lot of Chicago bands, their almost Britpop sound reminds me of Oasis and Suede and how those bands had much of the same attitude: that the good times should match the good tunes.

Speaking of good times, the owners of the Stone Fox were generous enough to put the band up in a house across the street. Naturally, an after-party ensued that went on until about 3 in the morning. The day after was predictably fucked, but considering the fun had, was worth it.

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