Buzz: Three's company: Triple whammy release show from local up-and-comers

To the mooon! Corsair plots their next lyrical adventure.
"We're not trying to entertain anybody," says Drunk Tigers guitarist Matt Bierce, far right.
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It promises to be a night of wild, sweaty rock– but don't worry, the only trouble this local threesome will cause should be confined to the stage. Combining the energy, talent, and glamor of three of the area's most-buzzed new bands, this triple-release show really does offer something for everyone– so long as you're passionate about your rock.

Ready to rage, jump off tables, and dance until you collapse? The high energy glam-rock of relative newcomers Red Satellites is sure to feed your fire. The science fiction-influenced prog-rock of local quartet Corsair satisfies both space junkies and Black Sabbath fans, while the straight forward indie, post-punk of Drunk Tigers fills in all the space between.

Not convinced? Beside the opportunity to snag new releases from all three bands– Corsair's Alpha Centauri and Red Satellites' Cherry Cleveland are both debuts– attendees get to absorb buzz that includes raves from the regional and DC-area blogosphere.

Red Satellites, Cherry Cleveland
"Energy" is the only way to describe the loud, yet romantic art-rock of Red Satellites whose EP comes with a simple instruction: "To Be Played At Maximum Volume."

Frontman Kevin Hivick has become known for aggressive live shows–- swinging from chandeliers and jumping off high perches–- even as he admits the group is "emotional and probably pretentious."

Hivick and his younger brother, keyboardist Daniel, decided to start playing as Red Satellites (a nod towards Communist satellite states) in the summer of 2008. Finding additional members over the next year, the five-piece line-up began in late 2009, went into their basement recording studio in December (guitarist Drew Carroll studied recording engineering at Florida State University) and had a four-track EP ready for release two months later.

Fueled by the classical training of the brothers –- Kevin performed opera as a teenager while Daniel studied classical piano–- and a flair for the romantic, Red Satellites combines a brash confidence in their melodic songwriting with passion for the local music community.

"I like to try and play with pretty words when I'm writing a story and see where it goes," Hivick explains. "I like to see something that's really true and tries to be grand, not worrying that it might be over-the-top."

Corsair, Alpha Centauri

"What's cooler than dragons and space ships?" asks Corsair guitarist Marie Landragin. Indeed, the imagery associated with Russian folklore and mystical mythology provides a compelling juxtaposition with Ray Bradbury-inspired spacescapes– and it's just such stories that provides the four-piece progressive rock band with the ability to span time and space.

"We want to write something you can dig into–- the stories transcend the average person's life," Landragin says. "The hardships of new things, new discoveries, dealing with monsters of different kinds–- our characters are challenged constantly."

Along with an eye to sharp and compelling story-telling, Corsair adds in an obvious jolt of guitar-shredding, genre-meshing talent. Produced by local rock guru Lance Brenner, the group's debut EP is a polished, harmony-driven nod to 1970s psychedelic metal–- yet Alpha Centauri's greatest strength comes from its wide range of melodic allusions, from a gospel-esque chorus to stripped-down baroque strains.

"The harmonies make it stand out, but it's done in a way that's accessible and melodic," bassist Jordan Brunk says. "It's edgy, but with a little pop sentiment– you can always remember the licks as well as the lyrics."

Guitarist and vocalist Paul Sebring agrees. "Every song is a short story."

And although the band is still young, having only formed in late 2008, don't expect them to rest on any laurels. "We'll see what we can do about getting our horn section, putting a string section in," laughs Brunk. "Do we come across sounding like nerds?"

Drunk Tigers, Black Square
It makes sense that the feel-good rock of the Drunk Tigers has a certain suburban, everyman, feel to it–- guitarists Matt Bierce and Zach Carter did meet while working at SNL Financial in 2008, after all. In the band's first single, "Winter Party," from their summer 2009 EP, the lameness of corporate holiday parties and the fading of youth is grimly depicted in the line, "I've been living cigarette to cigarette / and all my friends are dead." And although they've retained that satirical edge to their work, the quartet–- Bierce, Carter, drummer Mike Parisi, and bassist Dan Sebring (brother to Corsair's vocalist Paul)–- has grown upward and onward from their original basement-recorded debut and occasional shows at the Tea Bazaar. A regionally-raved rock outfit, DT has evolved its songwriting into the thick, lyrically-catchy EP Black Square.

"In a few of the bands I've been in before, I played sweet, shoe-gazer songs," remembers vocalist Bierce. "This has a little more edge, dissatisfaction."

From punk to country, the musical stylings exhibited here reward listeners with the slick, raw sound available most often in a live show. Featuring both primal drumbeats and twangy chords, pulsing riffs and the contrasting vocals of Bierce and Carter, Black Square reflects an intimacy of DT's live shows, where audiences are often mere feet away from the band. One listen may have you itching to jump up and dance, while the second will have you appreciate the hooks and catches of the riotous ballads and heart-wrenching, poppy tunes.

"At a certain point," says Parisi, "we don't worry about what people think."

Red Satellites, Corsair, and Drunk Tigers release EPs Saturday, February 20 at The Southern. New Rock Church of Fire opens. The show starts at 8 pm and tickets are $6.

1 comment

Wait, the real question is Kevin single now?. . . I Want him