Thursday, April 9, 2015

This Little Underground: Fort Defiance, Baby Erection, the Dull Blades (Will's Pub)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 3:29 PM

click to enlarge Fort Defiance at Will's Pub - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Fort Defiance at Will's Pub

Their punk-scuffed folk music is a pretty good listen but, live, Nashville trio Fort Defiance (April 8, Will’s Pub) is a rousing stage display of flashy busker tricks and bellies of fire. Although they have a dedicated percussionist with a rig of intriguing things like a suitcase foot drum and a washboard, their irrepressible beat is an ensemble effort with the other two singer-players stationed high atop stomping platforms – one a travel trunk and the other a wooden crate.

click to enlarge Fort Defiance at Will's Pub - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Fort Defiance at Will's Pub

But the reason to take them more seriously than basic show entertainment is that, in contrast to acts like the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, they lead with soul not gimmick. Their songs are good, earnest and full of real heart that’s colorfully stroked by the male-female harmonies of the vigorous Jordan Eastman and Laurel Lane, whose raw, Dolly-esque country shine could be a diamond in the rough.

click to enlarge Fort Defiance at Will's Pub - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Fort Defiance at Will's Pub

All this makes the crowd involvement that their wall-breaking performance style solicits a lot less awkward. But even if you refuse to sing along or accept one of the many percussion instruments they passed around the audience, you’ll still get an all-out performance.

click to enlarge Baby Erection at Will's Pub - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Baby Erection at Will's Pub

The other touring band on the night's bill was Brooklyn’s Baby Erection. There is of course that name. And then there’s the wardrobe, which was perhaps – no shit – more outrageous than their moniker. Possibly awesome but probably just gross, the frontman’s getup makes the Darkness’ Justin Hawkins seem  almost prim. But that about does it for their notable qualities. Beyond all the laugh bait, they’re just an undercooked hash of garage, glam and punk.

click to enlarge Baby Erection at Will's Pub - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • Baby Erection at Will's Pub

Melbourne’s the Dull Blades are still doing the two-piece thing and still doing it well. They’ve developed rock & roll hues beyond the White Stripes template that guided them before but their aesthetic remains nicely honed and their execution more in the pocket than ever. This high-performance duo has always been a very underrated area band so it’s nice to see them still in business and kicking ass. 

click to enlarge The Dull Blades at Will's Pub - ASHLEY BELANGER
  • Ashley Belanger
  • The Dull Blades at Will's Pub

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

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

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