Music News

On Rock 'n' Roll and the Undead

Yes, we've been dropping some serious ink on Lake Worth's on-the-money music joint Propaganda for some time now. So, you might ask, what's all this hullaballoo about a grand-opening week at this already established venue? According to the place's booking and promoting sensei, Steve Rullman, they were awaiting final approval and placement of the location's snazzy new sign before officially kicking things off. Well, what better way to celebrate prominent new red lettering on J Street than a weeklong party replete with free booze and great bands?

The final night of the week's festivities came last Saturday and began with fuzz-pop Miami trio Ex Norwegian. The band faced a serious challenge in having to overtake the voluminous clatter of an audience three hours into free PBRs and well cocktails. Lead guitarist Roger Houdaille's chunky riffs and penetrating choruses on "Don't Bother" were barely audible over the crowd's chit-chatting.

The group persevered, however, and unveiled a string of infectiously impressive new tunes like the dub-infected "Mind Down" and the jerky "Turn Left." The highlight of the set, though, was "Something Unreal," a tune primed for college-radio success. Featuring meaty hooks that sound straight out of the Lemonheads' modern-rock classic It's a Shame About Ray, this was the song that commanded everyone to shut the fuck up and sing along.

Self-proclaimed savior of rock 'n' roll the Freakin Hott didn't fall short of that billing with its full-throttle set of monstrous riffs and sultry vocals. There is definitely no sensitive indie mumbo-jumbo to be found from this Palm Beach County trio. The Freakin Hott specializes in pure, unadulterated, balls-to-the-wall rock built on Maggie-Margret Dove's enticing chants and Aaron Gentry's thunderous guitar-playing.

Gentry's rock-man swagger was undeniable as he belted out T. Rex-sized licks on the song "Cokane and Sokke"; it's like the guy was born to play the ax. Meanwhile, Dove, fiercely pounding the tambourine on her well-proportioned hips and unleashing some feisty vocals on "Brass Snatch," was hardly the second fiddle.

Boca Raton's Zombies! Organize!! provided a campy, kitschy ending to the night. The trio uses an assortment of keyboards and keytars to produce old-school "Planet Rock"-sounding loops and spooky, horror-movie-style synth runs. The group always entertains, and Saturday night, as always, group member MF Mars' helium-pitched rendition of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" was a crowd pleaser. Then there was the tender ballad "Sweet, Sweet Blood," a duet between Mars and sister Laura Licious about their unrelenting desire for munching brains. "Policemen are delicious, as are conservatives," the two gently crooned.

OK, so it took nearly six months to officially cut the ribbon on the place, but the folks over at Propaganda couldn't have done a better job lining up the best local talent around to celebrate. Hey, and the free drinks didn't hurt either.