Last Sunday's Delay/Swear Jar show in Windsor had probably the biggest crowd of any house show I've ever been to. No doubt it was because of the headliners (whose name I'll remember in just a second), but jeez, the number of people standing around both inside and outside for this thing was massive. For instance, when I first pulled up around 8:30 and parked on the street behind the first row of cars that I saw, I figured I was only one or two doors down from where I had to go; I had no idea how far I actually was from the house. Turned out it was only about a quarter-mile walk or so, but it felt like I was walking to the Big E or something. Hey, sometimes I'm lazy, what do you want from me.
This show was on time like a motherfucker, too, which means I pretty much missed the first two bands but got there just in time for Swear Jar and Delay, who were awesome. Both Swear Jar and Delay play the sort of rough-around-the-edges pop-punk that almost woulda passed for "indie rock" back in the day, but as long as bands wanna lug their amps around and play anthemic rock tunes, I'll show up no matter what it's called. I guess this was Delay's first show in CT, even though they've got a bunch of records and CDs out; I love their stuff on the split 7" with Monikers, plus they were selling copies of a new tape-only album ("Plain Language") which is going to be released on vinyl soon by Salinas, and on CD by someone else. It's all really good Middle American pop/rock type stuff, much like a new school slant on Hüsker Dü/early Replacements-- sorta similar to Modern Machines in that sense-- with maybe a little bit of The Embarrassment, although I'm not sure if Delay are old enough to have ever listened to The Embarrassment or not. Anyway, Delay tore it up big time, and they were really funny guys, too.
Swear Jar's set seemed a bit more ragged than the one I saw at Whitney House a couple of weeks earlier, or maybe it was how the layout of the Whitney basement helps push the sound straight forward and makes just about any band sound better. The garage we were in was humid as hell, making it hard for the bands to stay in tune, and I think I lost a pound or two just standing there. In any case, it was still a good set and everyone who was there was getting into it, plus the Swear Jar tape is finally out so everyone else can hear some of these songs now, too (I don't think Swear Jar have a MySpace or anything like that). Once the word gets around in pop-punk circles about these guys, they are gonna kick some serious butt. Big thanks to Chris for sending me the mp3 files and saving me from having to rip them, since my cassette rips are generally pretty crappy anyway.
"You Bet It Does"
"Bad Habits, Good Company"
(these files are now listen-only)