Respectable Street
West Palm Beach, FL
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Review, Video: Matthew Pashalian

There were two big CD Release shows at Respectable Street this year – Lavola’s for This Book is my Cowardice earlier this year, and this evenings for Raggy Monster’s latest for (insert deep breath here) As the Thorn Lures the Widow’s Lip, it Seeks No Wisdom from the Wicker Flies, an incredible album with bit of 90’s flair and a modern touch. With much promotion and hype for both of the South Florida favorites, this was a show not to be missed and it showed by way of the nearly packed house both inside and out on the patio of the venue.

By the time Raggy Monster came out with an old style television flanking the front of the stage, fans of the band new and old were ready to celebrate with the band. Keyboardist Billy Schmidt kicked things off with the somber “Guinevere” before launching into the dreamy “Crying Shame” and “Spencer’s Song.” Watching the band progress through their set, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Portishead a bit; minus the sometimes annoying hip hop element, between vocalist Rachel DuVall’s searing vocals and the ethereal mood the band set. For Spanish influenced “iyyiyi,” the band brought up their new lead guitarist Mike Guido as this evening’s performance doubled as long-time guitarist Christian Morgan’s sendoff.  Raggy Monster ended their set with a bang though with the first three cuts of …Wicker Flies as “Morgan’s Organs,” and single “Fools Gold” actually showed some in the audience singing along. Now that’s cool.

Going on a bit after 11, Lavola kicked the energy up even more with front man Julian Cires screams and barrage of riffs to “Show your face, Motherfucker” and the sonic stomp of fan favorite, “The Queen is Dead.”  The bands time performing in newer pastures of central Florida and even further North showed as the band sounded not only tighter than ever, but also fuller during “Masochist,” and “We Were Heroes For the Day.” A nice bit of levity was had though during a short intermission when a new bass had to be found and the bands violinist Emily Dwyer spoke a bit to the crowd, remarking that they’re all hipsters and should go pick up their album on vinyl because hey, all hipsters have record players right? Thank you for calling the crowd out Emily, you made me smile. The evening ended with the ambient to raucous “Please Excuse the Blood,” before the band exited to noise. This is a band that, even with technical difficulties, never seems to disappoint live.

Categories: Live Reviews 4 like

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