Cincinnati Rock Machine
Further proof that Cincinnati musicians are learning the lesson that, if you build it up, they will come: the Cincinnati Rock Machine
series. This new monthly showcase, presented by exceptional locals Spindle, Anonymous Bosch and Saving Ray, features those three acts plus a rotation of solid up-and-coming national and regional artists, putting a unique spin on the multi-act "festival" shows that have been great for drawing out the sometimes-not-original-music-friendly masses.
The event's last installment packed the exquisite new Over-the-Rhine venue, The Cavern, a positive sign for Downtown's occasionally struggling live-music scene. This month's CRM features three choice national acts (plus local greats Stonewater). Despite the confrontational band name, Detroit's The Fags sport a candy-flavored Power Pop, sound spiked with classic Rock & Roll swagger and punch. The band's fantastic self-titled EP will make fans of Pop/Rock masters from Cheap Trick to The Shazam squeal like little schoolgirls. Expert stuff, through and through. Chicago's Box-O-Car (pictured) plows a similar field, enhancing its three-minutes-and-out New Wave/Pop with a little Glam razzamataz. The band is supporting its potent new EP, In the Future ... On Mars!
While also possessing a knack for a strong hook, Jersey's Mad Happy works on a much broader canvas than its bill-mates. Mad Happy's recent Bar-None Records release, Feel Good Music ...For the Broke Middle Class
, is a hopeful, enigmatic slice of poetic eclecticism.
At The Cavern on Saturday.
-- M. B.