Favorite

It's time for the finals of the Musicians Showcase 

Laundry for the Apocalypse takes Round 5.

click to enlarge Laundry for the Apocalypse band image
  • Lily Darragh
  • ROUND FIVE WINNER: Laundry for the Apocalypse.

And then there were five. Laundry for the Apocalypse took the final round of the 2012 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase semifinals last week, nailing down a spot at the ultimate showdown on Friday, March 2, alongside The Holy Shakes, Don't Stop Please, War Chief and Joey Farr & The Fuggins Wheat Band.

Kicking off Round 5 was Fayetteville's Trasspassers, an electro pop/psych/WTF? duo made up of Michael Jordan and Gregory Moore. The band recalls the pulsing, left-field pop of early MGMT or Animal Collective. Their energy level and squiggly, twisted songcraft seemed to go over well with the crowd, though one can't help but feel they'd really shine at about 1:30 a.m. at a packed, sweaty house party.

Judge Clay Fitzpatrick noted "so many buttons and knobs, I don't know how they do it. Their last song killed. Evil dance PARTAY!" Guest Judge Danny Grace — aka Frontier Dan, of crazed psych-garage/country outfit The Frontier Circus — wrote, "Like the noise; unexpectedly Motown." Judge Sammy Williams appreciated how Trasspassers "integrated hooks in a style of music in which it is hard to do so."

Laundry for the Apocalypse took the stage second and roared right out of the gate with "Rob Zombie's Halloween 2," an upbeat ode to the shock rocker's cinematic work. "Murdertarp for the Apocalypse," took things in a darker direction, with crashing doubled drums, pulsing rhythm and frontman Aaron Sarlo's unhinged wail. Impressively, the band sustained that energy level for its entire set.

Judge Epiphany thought the band's "transitions were extra clean and the trumpet was a nice (not overused) addition." Judge Cheyenne Matthews put her take succinctly: "Duh — ruled so hard." Williams heard a "great quiet/loud dynamic, but 90 percent too much bongos," he wrote. "Vocals were great, energy was killer."

Up next were Ben Franks & The Bible Belt Boys, a bluegrass-infused five-piece that brought a lively, rollicking set of tunes to the proceedings. The Hot Springs band played heartfelt indie rock with folk instrumentation, including some fine fiddle playing from Chris Ryland Jr. that added a distinctive element to the band's sound. The group "made you feel good (despite the dreadful life you may be leading)," wrote Epiphany.

Williams thought the band played "very well together, but seem to take too many musical cues from songs from the past. Pushing the envelope, but haven't quite broken through." Grace gave the band points for "strong storytelling with a deceptively driven hoedown of fiddle and banjo. Well-rehearsed!"

Closing out Round 5 and the semifinals, Jab Jab Suckerpunch brought a 200-proof blast of pure, hedonistic rock 'n' roll to the proceedings. The band's sound could be described as The Jesus Lizard by way of Motorhead by way of an aural curbstomping. Brian Hirrell and Brett McKnight wrangled vicious riffs from their punishingly loud guitars, while the rhythm section of Brian Rodgers and Ryan Scott anchored the whole thing solidly.

Fitzpatrick was moved to the point of partially disrobing. "I took my shirt off," he wrote. "That means something — rock 'n' roll at its best." Matthews again offered condensed commentary: "Jab Jab, yes, oh yes, oh my!" Grace, too, opted for concision: "Raw power! The Detroit sound!" Epiphany heard "the type of good LOUD that's appreciated."

What the judges thought of Round 5 winner Laundry for the Apocalypse:

Guest judge Danny Grace: "An eclectic frenzy of percussion and guitar, bass and drums. A lot of fun!"

Epiphany: "Real nice package. Transitions were extra clean and the trumpet was a nice (not overused) addition."

Clay Fitzpatrick: "The frontman was amazing. The whole band was amazing. My only complaint was they really don't need the congas. I just almost felt it contradicted their sound."

Cheyenne Matthews: "Duh — ruled so hard."

Sammy Williams: "Great quiet/loud dynamic, but 90 percent too much bongos. Vocal were great, energy was killer."

So now we're down to the five finalists: The Holy Shakes, Don't Stop Please, War Chief, Joey Farr & The Fuggins Wheat Band and Laundry for the Apocalypse. Which band will become the 20th showcase winner and take home a bevy of excellent prizes and live on in infamy in the pantheon of great Arkansas bands?

You can find out Friday at Revolution. The show starts at 9 p.m. and it's $5 for ages 21 and older, $8 for ages 18-20. Contrary to how we've done things for the semifinals, we'll be tallying the score and announcing the winner that night. Also contrary to the semifinals, instead of being judged by four separate criteria, each band will receive a simple score of 0-50 from each judge.

We'll also be giving away three pairs of passes to Bonnaroo, June 7-10 in Manchester, Tenn. The gigantic music and arts festival has a killer lineup this year, with Radiohead, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Beach Boys, Bon Iver, The Shins, The Roots, Feist, Black Star, Ludacris, Tune-Yards, Flying Lotus, St. Vincent, Bad Brains, Mimosa, Ben Folds Five, Yelawolf, Mogwai, Kurt Vile and tons more.

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Robert Bell

  • A Q&A with Pallbearer

    Little Rock’s leading harbingers of doom return with a new album, “Foundations of Burden.”
    • Aug 21, 2014
  • Thursday To-Do: KEN mode

    You've got to figure that a band from frozen-ass Winnipeg is just gonna be way gnarlier and tougher than a band from some sun-kissed tropical clime where people wear tank tops and flip-flops year-round.
    • Feb 6, 2014
  • Bob Schneider at Juanita's

    Also, KEN Mode at Vinos', Red Octopus' 'Trysts and Turns' at the Public Theatre, Mothwind at Maxine's, Patty Griffin at George's Majestic, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at the Weekend Theater and Ash at Juanita's.
    • Feb 6, 2014
  • More »

People who saved…

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in A&E Feature

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Belk bowling, b-ball

    • Good analysis, something completely lacking from the daily newspaper's sports reporters/columnists.

    • on December 9, 2016
  • Re: Resurrection, reflection

    • http://hairtransplantncr.com/ hair transplant in delhi hair transplant ncr hair transplant cost hair transplant cost in…

    • on December 8, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation