we not men? We are Stylex at the Fuze Box.
photo: Joe Putrock
You Hear Me Now?
Amazing Plaid, Kitty Little
Box, Jan. 10
The latest installment in the continuing Monday program of
interesting music at the Fuze Box featured Akron, Ohio’s geek-rockers
Stylex. Before commenting on the music itself, a few words
on the club.
else notice that the Fuze Box is starting to take on the characteristics
of QE2 again? Gothic iron (cemetery?) gates adorn the sound
platform and hang precariously above the front of the stage;
what looks like a gargoyle skeleton has appeared on the east
wall. Plus, like QE2 once did, it has an amazingly talented
bartender; at one point Monday night, she stood on the bar
and mixed a drink while working a Hoola-Hoop. It’s creepy,
like in Roman Polanski’s film The Tenant. Maybe they
need a priest.
Now for the show. Stylex were great. Their hard-driving pop-punk
is accented with just enough electronic noodling to be entertaining,
but not so much that it distracts from their excellent songs.
Band members leapt from the stage, spiraled down onto the
floor, tossed their instruments around and never missed a
I’d like to say more about them, but the god-awful sound mix
buried the lead guitar and erased the lead singer. (Great
rhythm section, though.) Dear sound person: Thanks a lot.
Kitty Little are back with a new drummer and an altered sound.
There are traces of their former sugar-
sweetness and pop stylings, but these don’t seem to be the
band’s guiding musical ideal anymore. The sound is harder—much
harder—and Matto’s vocals seemed more angry than plaintive.
That said, Matto and bassist Jesse Pellerin seemed as happy
and carefree as ever on “stage.” (Both KL and Amazing Plaid
played on the floor; Stylex used the stage exclusively.)
How much harder? One song borrowed its intro from Led-freaking-
Zeppelin. How angry? I thought his voice would crack. Or maybe
it was the stomach aliments Matto alluded to in his between-song
patter. Who knows.
Whatever the reason for the change, and even if the sugar
content is reduced by 30 percent, Kitty Little remain perfectly
As for the Amazing Plaid, this was only their second full-band
show in a year. Their Friday (Jan. 7) gig at Valentine’s generated
much positive buzz, and this appearance only served to reinforce
it. Tom Wilk and company were ferocious, throttling every
ounce of energy out of their thundering, dissonant prog-like
Tara Needham opened the evening with a brief set of four well-crafted
songs. The former Brooklynite has a CD in the works; it will
be worth waiting for.