There are so many punk rock bands out there with songs that all sound the same that it’s refreshing to catch a band that knows how to mix it up, let alone two on the same bill. The New Alibis and Deadly Sins do just that, and they do it well. Thursday night’s show at Great Scott was fast-paced, high-energy, and flat-out nasty.
The New Alibis have an extremely versatile sound. The majority of their set had that grimy, street punk sound we all love, but occasionally they’d throw in a song with a poppier feel, and even ranged to arena-esque at times. This successful spanning of styles was enabled by the lead singer’s strong vocals, which jumped from a guttural growl to an almost plaintive, but clean wail from song to song. They mixed their set up nicely, tossing out different styles one after another, keeping the crowd on edge throughout the night. One thing that stayed constant through The New Alibis’ performance was their collective gang-vocals on just about every chorus of every song, featuring a well executed harmony between the two male guitarists and the female bassist. The lead guitarist’s solo work was also impressive, though I wish he was turned up a little louder so I could hear more – it really would have brought more of an edge to their songs that ended up being somewhat buried in the mix.
Towards the end of the set they played a cover of “Do It All The Time,” which I gotta say, if the original version sounded like that, I’d listen to the Violent Femmes a hell of a lot more often. All in all their set was extremely well crafted, and kept the crowd rocking out and pumping their fists the entire time. You can catch them on May 22nd down at the Beachcomber in Quincy, opening up for the Beantown Boozehounds.
Following the New Alibis, Deadly Sins came out of the gate with an aggressive sound that immediately captured the crowd’s attention. Lead singer Stephanie Dougherty was first heard on the Dropkick Murphy’s song “The Dirty Glass,” and as of now flies back and forth from Vegas to tour and record with her band. Unfortunately, that means they don’t play around here too often. She has a great voice for Deadly Sins’ style of music, good range and a subtle underlying bite that adds what sounds like a verbal sneer to the lyrics. While she sang lead on most of their songs, they would occasionally mix it up by having the (male) guitarist sing lead while Dougherty chipped in on the choruses. Guy can wail too! Good angry singing voice, and his scream was raw and filled with energy… badass. Deadly Sins feature a great rhythm section as well – the drummer threw in rolls in all the right places, and the bassist (once they turned him up about halfway through the set) had a hard picking style that made the entire band’s sound seem more… pissed off (this was a good thing). Also, I’m a sucker for Smiths covers, and while their version of “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” is a LOT different from the original, they did a great job on it live. Its a very… interesting take on the original, to say the least. Deadly Sins can put on a hell of a show, here’s hoping we see them back in Boston soon.