Highlights from Ratscape 2013 day 1

The first day of Ratscape is in the books. I was only able to stay for four bands, but what I did catch was an impressive and diverse array of some of the unique talent Baltimore has to offer. Truth be told I should have just stayed there the whole night and not left for another less satisfying show. But hindsight is 20/20.

Choke Motel offered up a rocking instrumental set featuring Ratscape organizer Mike Franklin on drums. I would like to hear more from them. I think they are named for the Motel 6(66) across the street from The Hour Haus, but there is nothing sinister or creepy about their sound.

Then came Nice Guys from Boston (although apparently originally they started out in Baltimore). Nice Guys use a lot of familiar punk riffs but then put their own spin on them with original songs. Something about this band really activated a part of my punk brain that has been dormant for sometime. Really good.

The next band, Pleasant Livers, had a slightly delayed start but still played four “songs” (I think). How can one describe them? Two asynchronous drummers, guitar, bass, saxophone and vocalist Fred Collins running rampant on stage. He birthed himself from a children’s play tunnel and few times and had improper relations with an EasyBake Oven. Highly entertaining.

The last band I caught was USSA Pleasuredome. Instrumental and lush, this band now has a drummer (and not a drum machine) for live performances. They presented some powerful soundscapes and killer riffs.

I am sure the remainder of the evening went well and look forward to the rest of the weekend. All photos by Mary Spiro.

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