Live Show Review of Dead Register/ Entertainment/ Sleeping Pills/ The Pilot Light at The 529 in Atla
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
This is my first review for Emily Harris's blog, Midnight's Children. My previous reviews have been with Sludgelord. Hopefully you'll take the time to read this as I try to be as descriptive as possible without leaving out some background info about the groups I write about as well. With the help of Keeley Kennahan, we ventured out to 529 on March 17th to review and photograph the Dead Register show whom I have seen multiple times before already. Entertainment has been around for over a decade so I was very curious to see what they were all about as the name always intrigued me but for one reason or another I just never had a chance to see them live before.
The Pilot Light, with a member (goes by Shrimp) of previous stoner rock band, Stone Mountain Freeway, started the night off with some solid songs in the heavy rock genre. I would almost term it grunge or alternative rock in a way. The singer was more soulful in his vocals than the typical yelling I'm used to but it made this band that much more interesting. His range was pretty wide. Also charismatic in his own way just by looking at his expressions. No disrespect to the now deceased Scott Wieland or PL's singer but I was hearing a lot of similarities. Reminded me a little of Screaming Trees as well if you can remember as far back as the atypical 90's rock sound. Shrimp's intensity kicked his own mic over in the middle of shredding through some riffs near the end of the set. Given the band's age in general they will probably generate an ass ton of fans in the future.
Sleeping Pills played next. This Tampa band were a mixture of dark wave, synth and moodiness. Reminded me a lot of Joy Division if we're going to keep up with the comparisons. The singer's lackadaisical approach to singing was fitting as he harmonized along with his guitar. The other guitar player went between guitar and keyboards every other song. They too also appeared to be a young group that could transcend into something larger than what they have going on now.
Entertainment brought even more synth and got a few of their goth fans moving. They definitely had their own fanbase. Not surprisingly, they were pushing a strong 80's vibe. The drums were half acoustic, half electronic and were used very effectively throughout ET's set. The songs were well thought out and gave me a sense of nostalgia for the Cure in a small way. With a bassist who was pretty solid with the versatile drummer, a lanky keys man (Nick Cave??) and a bleached blond singer who had the frontman thing down to a science, they tore through a pretty spotless set. I'd be surprised if they didn't get a few nods and shakes after their set. Not sure why the sound man had to cut their set short but you could tell by the look of the band that it was unexpected. I'd totally give them another listen next time they come around.
Dead Register headlined this diverse show like fucking champs. They bring a fresh new sound to the whole meaning of dark wave, ambient, goth/death rock. The music is very hard to pin down within a genre. Being exposed to music for over 30 years, DR gave me new hope to a saturated music scene. They seem to get stronger and stronger as a band every time they play out. Utilizing a white backdrop they projected black and white imagery behind Chad's drums as they too also had a spotless set. Chvasta's guitar work was strong and propelling while April's use of keys was intoxicating. Chad's drums brought an element of sonic power driving the songs into a very hypnotic trance. There was even someone next to me who had her eyes closed almost the whole time if that tells you anything. Give me some shrooms and this would be musical ecstasy.