Video and photographs by Timothy Reidy
Video and photographs by Timothy Reidy
A year ago in Metroland, writer/lawyer/drummer/fortuneteller Paul Rapp made this bold prediction for 2013: “Five Alpha Beatdown will get signed to a major label that thinks the band really are from Iceland. ‘You’re Boring as F***’ will be a major, major hit and will inspire the next Judd Apatow film of the same title.”
Review by Matt Mac Haffie
Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
Critics’ darlings Charmboy took the Putnam Den stage in Saratoga Springs promptly at 9pm armed with a batch of songs culled from their debut CD “Let it Feed.” The unassuming cool of bassist Sarah Clark belies her ridiculous command of the instrument which, when locked with the versatile drumming of Scott Smith, forms a dangerous rhythm section.
Guitar ace Eric Halder (AKA the Birthday Boy) unleashed a grand parade of classic riffs, familiar yet fresh, from behind his lead vocals. Songs that kill on the album – “The 18,” “White Nights” and especially “Werewolves” – are just as killer in concert. Live you also got a gem-of-a-cover: the obscure Alice Cooper track “Is It My Body.”
NAME: Eric Halder
BAND AFFILIATION: Charmboy; Tom McWatters & the Philo Beddoe Band; Guiltless Cult
INSTRUMENT: Guitar & Vocals
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I was lucky to have grown up with an older brother that was into ’70s hard rock and had a nice record collection. This gave me very early exposure to the likes of AC/DC, Foghat, Alice Cooper, KISS, etc… The first album I ever bought with my own hard-saved cash though, was “2112” by Rush on vinyl. I had no idea what I was getting into there but had probably heard my brother mention that title at some point. In retrospect, I think the programmatic concept approach was a good one for getting my young ears deeply immersed in the music. I’m not the biggest Rush fan on the block these days, but I’ve still got a soft spot for that one and “Moving Pictures,” which was actually my second purchase!
(DIO Records, 2011):
Charmboy’s new CD offering “Let It Feed” is a time capsule of unapologetic guitar rock, born of the true golden age of Rock and Roll. Guitarist Eric Halder penned and sings lead on eight of the nine tracks, with a vocal style that is part spoken-word, not unlike Jimi Hendrix or Phil Lynott. I suspect it is an intentional nod. In the tradition of rocking power trios, the rhythm section is tight, fueled by the rock steady beat of drummer Scott Smith, along with the soulful, flowing and heavy bass lines of baby monster Sarah Clark, who adds backing vocals as well. Riding shotgun with a banshee wail of a guitar sound is Halder, and at his hand, notes get bent, tones get distorted and volumes pushed.
The humidity was high, and the activity beehive-like. The band gear was loaded into the Garage. The in-case-it-rains tents came out. The younger library staff wheeled out racks of CDs and DVDs for the garage sale, along with crates of records (Hope you like Melanie). Even VHS and cassette tapes.
Charmboy and Beware! The Other Head of Science were the line-up for “Garage Bands in the Garage at the Albany Public Library.” The third-Friday-of-the-month free summer concert series is the brain-child of librarian Sarah Clark, who pulled double-duty on Friday as Charmboy’s bassist. In an effort to shed her mild mannered, book-pushing, shusher image, Sarah donned a wig and rock-star sunglasses to hit the concrete bunker of the garage/loading dock. Joined by rock steady drummer Scott Smith and blistering guitarist Eric Hadler, Charmboy kicked off the show with a stellar set of ’70s-tinged rockers.
Matt Ferguson revealed that his band Beware! The Other Head of Science’s performance was to be a “stripped down, just the hits, no-nonsense affair.” I pushed him on the no-confetti issue, and he said, “Our confetti use has been under review since we discovered that the silver streamers may not actually be as bio-degradable as we had first believed.” Undaunted, B!TOHoS launched into an energetic set of songs well known to their die-hard following, who quickly rushed to the front of the band, who played to them eye-to-eye. One new number on the theme of LARPing was debuted to keep things fresh.
The garage sale drew many happy bin-browsers and earned the library some extra funds. I am regretting passing on that Melanie vinyl.
Review and photographs by Matt Mac Haffie
Next up on the library’s Garage Bands in the Garage free concert series are Grainbelt and the Knyghts of Fuzz at 6pm on Friday, August 20.