In the wake of Tropical Storm Andrea, the streets of downtown Lake Worth were glossy with the evidence of periodic rain. The air hung, visibly stagnant, in the glow of street lights. And although J Street was quiet, there was barely an empty parking spot around.
Propaganda glowed red, and the venue door swung open, revealing the bluesy wail of Sophie Sputnik as her floor tom burst though the thick din. Bands from across the tricounty area were in attendance to celebrate the album release of the Darling Sweets. While the band has grown from its humble two-piece beginning, it has not only blossomed in members and sound but also stylishly succeed in showcasing the ever-expanding community of musicians South Florida is bursting with.
Spearheading the evening was Killmama, starting right on time, thanks to John Wiley (Eulogy Recordings, Wayward Parade), a veteran at coordinating such events from as early as those Club Q days. For a band about to tackle its first tour, Killmama was on point. Rob Kingsley and Sputnik took up the smallest portion of the stage in comparison to the acts that followed, but they had no trouble compensating in volume. Using every minute available in the time allotted to them, Killmama snuck in two more songs at the end of its set. No one was opposed to this innocent sneakiness.
Hustling on to the stage, Los Bastardos Magnificos set up in record time, considering they are three times the size of the band that preceded them. With the newly added David von Bader (and sometimes New Times music writer) on guitar, the band ripped into its set. The mix of the sound was so clean, it was hard not to notice. It's easy to say that a proper sound mix should be a given, but with just the tom in the back with the upright bass, the harp, and the fiddle -- Justice Thompson really got a hold of their sound and was able to help each musician shine, especially through those tinny guitar solos and fiddle breakdowns.
The rise to ultimate punk-folk stuffs built as the Killbillies took the stage. The three-piece is all the basics -- banjo, guitar, upright bass.
And if the heat inside the bar wasn't already suffocating enough, suddenly the place was packed. The floor area in front of the stage cleared out for the rowdier types who flailed to the sound of the folk. The Killbillies marked a transitional point between the more alternative sound of Killmama and LBM and the distinctively gypsy sounds of the bands to follow.
Next was Everymen, a ridiculous and kind of jaw-dropping concoction of the fantastical sounds of Gorgol Bordello and the aggravated impatient snarl of Against Me!. Everymen reached the parts of the crowd that might have been sleepwalking the rest of the evening. Showgoers tore it up in the middle of the room, leaving the back of the venue was vacant. The crowd pushed forward to get a better look. If Killbillies had all the basics, then Everymen had all of the extras you didn't know you were missing. A perfect match-up for the Darling Sweets, Everymen will be joining them on tour, and it's no wonder, considering the energy they provided the room.
Last but not least, the Darling Sweets, who just released their debut album, To the Roads We Left Behind, out on Wayward Parade Records, took the stage. Though there was a decent amount of time between them and the previous band, the energy was magically sustained, ready to be released in those crazy moshy flailing moves the kids are doing these days to this funky gypsy stuff. Curated perfectly, the Darling Sweets were simply the culmination of all of the sounds before them. And in celebration of this album -- produced by Marc Ward at Egelbaland Studios in Lake Worth -- they put on one hell of a show.
Who knew Lake Worth was hiding some of the toughest freak folks in local music?
Now you know.
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