Brooklyn has become a hotbed of interesting and innovative music by upcoming bands of all stripes and styles. With the release of “Things Of That Nature,” the pop-rock-punk outfit Black Taxi – fronted by the hyper-energetic vocalist Ezra Huleatt (also keyboards, trumpet and miscellaneous noise makers) – has joined their ranks, garnering plenty of attention on alternative and college radio stations while performing incessantly in music clubs all across the country.
Black Taxi’s infectious, well-crafted and beat-laden songs are full of rocking guitar riffs that fly off the stage and get people bouncing to the rhythms. But their tunes are not droning dance music: you can dance to them if you want to, but if you don’t, Huleatt and his musical cohorts give you plenty of animated energy to look at.
Beyond the electric piano and a few synthesizers, there is a glockenspiel, a trumpet and an assortment of percussive tools all within Huleatt’s reach. And at any moment, he might grab one of them and infuse it into the song’s rhythmic texture.
Guitarist Billy Mayo pulls double-duty, supplying both the rhythm and tasteful leads that join the tight rolling foundation of beats laid down by bassist Krisana Soponpong and drummer Jason Holmes.
At Jillian’s, the crowd stood, swayed and danced to Black Taxi’s set, which was filled with a mix of older originals and new tunes, including the catchy “Tightrope,” from their upcoming sophomore CD, slated for release in January.
Headlining that evening’s triple bill at Jillian’s were regional favorites Paranoid Social Club, while the mesmerizing Brooklyn-based My Pet Dragon opened the show with a spirited set of captivating and well played originals featuring the double-barreled vocal attack of guitarist Todd Michaelsen and classical Indian dancer Reena Shah.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk