by on Oct 8, 2012

Photos by Cassandra Marquez

Check out more photos from the show here!

Shark Toys were just taking the stage when we walked in to a mostly empty Satellite this past Thursday in Silverlake. It’s always a challenge being the first band on a bill; it’s even harder when the early turn out is less than great, but Shark Toys definitely rose to the occasion. The young band is still trying to get through some growing pains, but for the most part their set was filled with enjoyable, energetic garage songs. Their sound is somewhat reminiscent of Thee Oh Sees, especially their more recent adventures into Krautrock, complete with the type of noisy synth lines that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Murder City Devils record. It is small nuances like these that help set Shark Toys apart from the hundreds of other similar acts popping up around LA. However, if they really do hope to graduate past opening band status, they will need to work on how they end their songs since almost every one they played seemed to end suddenly out of nowhere.

By the time Zig Zags started playing, most of the night’s audience had already entered the club. Noisy hipsters of all ages began to bump into each other, PBR tallboys in hand, as Zig Zags ripped through some of the best stoner garage jams to come out of this city in the past few years. It is impossible to read anything about Zig Zags without hearing about their influences (e.g. Motorhead, Mudhoney, Zeke) or their LA contemporaries (The Shrine, Stab City) but if this set did one thing for the band tonight, it cemented them as a band that is beyond those influences and certainly within a different realm as far as songwriting.

The setlist included powerful numbers such as the fuzz anthem “Monster Wizard”, which was a crowd favorite for its triple vocal attack and heavy stoner groove. It was a record release party for the band that night, and they were finally selling copies of their long awaited Monster Wizard and If I’m in Luck I Might Get Picked Up 7-inches, the latter of which features Iggy Pop! Overall the crowd seemed pretty into the band; it was almost impossible to get to the merch table afterwards with all the people lining up to buy these new singles. (Their first 7-inch Scavenger, released on Mexican Summer earlier this year, sold out almost immediately.)

Despite the many faces from the Seattle scene in the crowd (as someone that grew up in that city, it was hard not to notice), Lars Finberg and company took the stage as the Los Angeles based incarnation of The Intelligence as opposed to the Seattle lineup they toured with in recent years. This lineup is just as strong live, and even features Jed of Zig Zags playing bass. The band started off well with fan favorites off their last album Males, such as “Like Like Like Like Like Like Like” and “Tuned To Puke”, both of which garnered a little bit of moshing and even some sing-alongs closer to the stage. The Intelligence really hit their stride later on in the set, especially on the Wire-esque “(They Found Me In The Back Of) The Galaxy” one of the catchiest tracks off of their recently released album Everybody’s Got It Easy But Me.

By the end of the night it was clear The Intelligence are definitely one of the best bands playing within this genre right now and slowly but surely they are building the same kind of following they have in Seattle down here in LA. Hopefully on the band’s upcoming national tour, which includes dates with King Tuff, will garner them the same kind of recognition nationwide artists like Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and FIDLAR have received lately. This reviewer is still personally waiting for The Intelligence to wind up on a bill with Shannon and the Clams so they can play Del Shannon’s “Little Town Flirt”, a gorgeous 50’s style duet between Shannon Shaw and Finberg.

Check out more photos from the show here!

1 Comment

  1. Crazy Legs
    October 8, 2012



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