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This Little Underground: Mojave Wilde’s secret release show

Deaf 2 the Industry, Everymen, Iron Chic, Benjamin Booker

Photo: Photo By James Dechert, License: N/A

Photo By James Dechert


The quality continued later up the block with New York’s Iron Chic (Will’s Pub). They’re remarkable because it’s so hard nowadays to be brought to attention by pop punk, whose average has been brought so far down by pap as to become the baby food of punk rock. But Iron Chic stands out and above with their immediate, timeless songs. Edged with ’90s indie-rock character, their melody-punk is powered by big sing-alongs and soaring hearts, as if all it takes to save the day is a good anthem. And amid the packed, shit-losing crowd, my faith in pop punk was reinstated, even if just for a moment.

Right now, Benjamin Booker (March 6, Will’s Pub) has the power of mystery going for him. All that’s really known about the NOLA musician with Florida roots is that he’s already signed to legit label ATO Records, though his debut album won’t come till fall. What little can be found online shows promise. But after peeping him live, goddamn, this kid is the real deal. Arranged like the Black Keys and fuzzed-up like the Dirtbombs, Booker and his drummer tore into a hot grease bucket of hard soul, blues and rock & roll that’s straight outta the garage. He channels the O.G. fire of Chuck Berry and Little Richard with the raw heat of Southern punk. And he’s already got the soul that some of today’s garage kings are only pretending at. Look out.

Stars and gutters: Photos from Two Cow Garage, Benjamin Booker, Matt Woods and Join Hands at Will’s Pub

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