Sunday, January 25, 2015

This Little Underground: Bruiser Queen, The Palmettes, Poster at St. Matthew's

Posted By on Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 2:12 PM

click to enlarge Bruiser Queen at St. Matthew's Tavern - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Bruiser Queen at St. Matthew's Tavern


Mills Ave. new kid St Matthew’s Tavern has really blossomed into an authentic crossroads watering hole, and the positive musical upshot has been another venue for DIY shows. A recent punk show (Jan. 22) at the beer garden’s outdoor performance shed took nice advantage of a night unseasonably mild even for us.

click to enlarge Bruiser Queen at St. Matthew's Tavern - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Bruiser Queen at St. Matthew's Tavern

Making their Orlando debut, St. Louis guitar-and-drums duo Bruiser Queen is a garage-pop band that’s a hot little tempest of oldies and punk. What separates them from that crowded pack is the big, feral, tree-shaking voice of frontwoman Morgan Nusbaum. Moreover, where other nostalgia punk acts lean twee, Bruiser Queen goes tougher with riot grrrl tendencies. ‘Verbed out, pushed into the red and full-on fun, they’re more Shannon & the Clams than Vivian Girls, and they sparked a receptive crowd into a party.

click to enlarge Bruiser Queen at St. Matthew's Tavern - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Bruiser Queen at St. Matthew's Tavern

The garage doo-wop of local opener the Palmettes is ragged fun too. But whether it can really become something for the books is a good question. Instrumentally, they can pass, at least within punk reason. Their biggest cavity, however, is the singing, which is uncertain even when attacked as a gang. But with a little work – or perhaps a little more than a little – they might become more than just a charming diversion.

click to enlarge The Palmettes at St. Matthew's Tavern - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • The Palmettes at St. Matthew's Tavern

Lakeland opener Poster is in a similar practice-to-potential spot in their development. There’s a very specific aesthetic in ‘90s indie rock that romances that particular spot between lovely and off-center, and these boys embody that. Their textured sound is simple and slack, but it keeps you hanging on with its really pleasing melodies. Still, they could use more practice. With it, these kids could be some sudden contenders. 

click to enlarge Poster at St. Matthew's Tavern - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Poster at St. Matthew's Tavern

This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene. Read the latest column here.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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