Al & The Black Cats – Ravari Room, Columbus OH 3-27-09

Another great show at the Ravari room, this time an eclectic triple bill featuring punk-infused bluegrass and decent psychobilly.  Here’s how it shook out;

Hellsfire Sinners – were first up and played a great full set of their unusual mixture of bluegrass, country, punk with a touch of metal thrown in for good measure.  This is the second time I’ve seen Alan Dude & Co. perform live, this particular outing going off without the technical issues from before (thankfully!).  High energy drinkin’ music (as I like to think of it) was performed flawlessly and included all my favs – ‘Psycho’, ’99’, ‘Piss on You’, ‘Zombie Killer’ and ‘Ain’t Comin’ Home’ – the later I’d never heard live before, so that was a thrill.  Great stuff!

Next up were the psychobilly lunatics out of Queens, The Arkhams -who get bonus points for being named after the fictional city created by one of my all-time favorite writers, H. P. Lovecraft.  But I doubt even Lovecraft’s fertile imagination could’ve thought up this concoction of 60’s surf rock and macabre punk – think Dick Dale meets The Misfits.  Guitarist Bobcat Arkham was a fretburner possessed, alongside drummer Seanzi Dirtbag,  second guitarist Johnny Beernuts and mad scientist on the upright bass, Matt the Knife.  Well crafted songs, most centering around insanity (which I can dig), included ‘Insane’, ‘Bad Luck”, ‘Next Time You See Me’ and my personal fav, the very catchy ‘Hell Is Where All The Good Records Are’.

Last & loudest, Michigan’s own Al & The Black Cats – who interestingly enough, perform sans Al these days. No matter, this is a heavy duty threesome that nicely marry heavy metal with rockabilly, even performing an excellent cover of Motorhead’s “Overkill’ as part of their set!  Singer/bassist Eric Soules (The ‘Les Claypool of Upright Bass’), fierce stringmeister Tony Cozzaglio on guitar and Hugh Skiffington on drums are guaranteed to enthrall even my metal loving brethern with their chunky rhythms & full-on stage intensity.  Seriously, I had intended to bail early but found I couldn’t leave because of the powerful performance these guys were serving up – walking on the bar,  flalling around the stage like caged demons – big fun!

I would definitely recommend any of these acts if they come to your area as they all put their souls on the stage.  Below is a Youtube video of Al & The Black Cats ‘The Light Hit Her Eyes’ to give you a taste.  Check’em out!

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