Something wicked good this way comes. With autumn magic in the crisp evening air, the mood on Friday at PhilaMOCA was just right for a stacked bill of four Philly bands to transform into haunted visages of their former selves and take the stage by force. Put on by your friends and mine, the breezy power-poppers in Hurry presented the Hurry Halloween Spectacular — a veritable Hurry-ween.
Kicking off the night’s mischief was sensitive rock crew Cave People, who were also using the night to celebrate the release of a great new record: Sinning Tree. Dressed as Kurama from Japanese anime series Yu Yu Hakusho, frontman Dave Tomaine ripped out one crunchy-yet-tender track after another, while the giant screen behind him played back some of his character of choice’s greatest action moments. Often keeping a low profile in the scene, this was a rare opportunity to see Cave People in fine form — songs that draw lore from Tomaine’s past and present are supported and driven by music that evokes the very best of late 90’s alt/emo inspiration like Pedro the Lion, Sparklehorse and others.
Without much ado, Key favorites Cherry proceeded to whip into a brisk set. Russell Edling played clueless and giddy about being in Philadelphia “for the first time,” apparently costuming as a happy-go-lucky tourist. Evoking jangly, very Jeff Mangum-esque vibes with his thin voice, Edling and his band worked through a tight-knit set of jams. Playing everything from the absolutely excellent Gloom EP, the band also got into some new songs that they’ve been working on and recording in the time since Gloom dropped back in February. Definitely keep your eye out for what comes next for them, it’s going to be a good year ahead.
What can we say? He’s a hero. Dressed as Captain Planet, Philly music hero Eric Slick was the man of the hour during the 3rd set of the night. As one of the very first shows for the newly minted Eric Slick Band, everyone was interested to see what Slick would bring to the table. Per usual, he didn’t disappoint. The new tracks from his solo project are just aces. Backed up by Natalie Prass/Einstein on bass, Laser Background’s Andy Moholt/Sonic the Hedgehog on keys and guitar, and Corey Taylor of Slipknot (Ricardo Lagomasino of Lithuania) smashing the drums, Slick was more than equipped to debut the vibe of his new project. With only a handful of recorded (or at least premiered) songs out there on the Planet-wide web, it’s still a little bit tough to say precisely what Slick is getting at with his new squad. Throwing Lithuania favorite “Poision” in at the end of the set was a nice touch, and gave fans of that other Slick venture something to hang onto, as well.
Needing no introduction, Hurry hit the stage to do the damn thing. Seasoned vets of gigging, the bright three-piece was sounding as good as ever, frontman Matt Scottoline’s slightly nasally vocals and crispy guitar riffs got the crowd grooving to the out-of-season sounds of summer. Hits from this year’s Guided Meditation sounded as good as ever, with new jammers from the fresh Casual Feelings EP falling right into place alongside old favorites. Hurry are living proof that if you can do something well, don’t overthink it. They know what works, and more power to them for that fact.
And speaking of what works: Those costumes. With all three bandmates dressed as the titular character of 90’s horror film The Crow, the evening’s absolutely ridiculous calvacade of costumes reached it’s peak. As Hurry breezed quickly through their set, it was hard to believe that the night was pretty much at it’s end. Like their music, they ended things simply — no tricks or encore, just playing the hits. My only complaint: That it wasn’t an entire Ween cover set. Hurry-ween, get it? I’m kidding. Mostly. But with a band like Hurry, it’s hard — if not impossible — to find something to complain about.
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