I'll admit that I shouldn't have avoided Ovlov for as long as I did. They were always being touted by people who go to shows at The Space and like all the shitty bands on Topshelf, so I figured staying away was pretty safe. Plus their name kinda sucks. Well, I was way off, because Ovlov are nowhere near crappy, they're actually pretty good. I'm sure this isn't the kind of review they'd want ("hey, this guy said our name sucks"), but they'll probably never read this anyway, so who cares. I finally broke down and listened to some of the songs on their Bandcamp page about a month ago -- "What's So Great About The City?" or whatever it is -- and the songs totally reminded me of Superdrag and Monsterland. Whaddya know, shit's good. I'd missed the Dead Wives/Speedy Ortiz connection, too. Then I went to see them last night, just a little ways up the road in Hartford so it was no big inconvenience, and not only do they properly rock out in a live setting, but they've got the type of sense of humor that I like. ("These first two songs are new." (pause, surveys the audience) "Although to you guys, all of them are new.") So, yeah, big official thumbs up for Ovlov, who're starting a tour tonight in Brooklyn, and they should have a tape with them of all of their songs, and you should buy it.
The Suicide Dolls got stuck with going on last, don't ask me how, plus they had some equipment problems which kept them from getting out of the starting gate for a while, but once they began playing they blew the doors off. Just 7 or 8 songs in a row without stopping, sometimes with some little noise jams in between, but mostly just a solid brick wall of rock. As a side note, I get annoyed when lazy local writers tag this kind stuff as "grunge", unless it refers to the '80s when grunge meant that you listened to Sonic's Rendezvous Band and Homestead Records had a whole pile of Green River albums that they couldn't sell. Anyway, it's been three years since the last time I saw Suicide Dolls, and even then I said that Brian was my favorite guitar player in CT, although the competition still isn't exactly fierce. They've gotten even tighter since then, plus now they have their first CD ("Prayers in Parking Lots"), which was just released about 5 months ago. I don't know if bands are able to get rid of CDs much these days, but I've posted a couple of songs down below so that you can think about it, anyway.
Last night was practically an '80s/'90s-styled indie rock night (hence the name), as Farewood also played, with their moody sorta-shoegazer rock. I remember -- this was a full-on decade and a half ago -- when Farewood used to be a mostly-acoustic duo, but since then they've fleshed-out to a full band and their sound has become much more guitar-heavy, although they're still quiet enough where I didn't feel like being a pain in the ass by moving forward and taking photos. I haven't checked out their new album yet, but I really like their "Figures in Shadows" CD that came out 5 or 6 years ago or whenever it was (I've listened to it a bunch since then, I just can't find it right now). And so, for the sake of all CT bands who sound like the '80s and '90s, I'll tack on a song from them, too.
Ovlov, "Strand of Steve-O"
Suicide Dolls, "Deep Red"
Suicide Dolls, "Drive"
Farewood, "King John"