Some 150 miles away, in the desert, many an Angeleno’s teeth chattered on the soggy polo grounds during the Black Keys headlining set at opening day of the 2012 Coachella Music & Arts Festival, weekend one. Back here in LA however, those of us still in the empty and rain-washed city crowded into the intimate music room’s church pew seating at Genghis Cohen for The Hang’s stripped down acoustic set.
The room was dim, with much of the light provided by the starry candle lanterns that adorned each pew. There was an instant feeling of snug coziness. As the rest of the band set up, and wandered in and out of the room, lead guitarist Jon “Sos” Sosin sat on a stool on the front of the stage and started the stage banter early. Bassist Nick Campbell took a seat on his amp as founder, vocalist and front-man Trey Green strapped on his guitar. Lastly, amid rumors of his demise, drummer Jamie Douglass took his seat behind the kit and the show began, not just on-time but 6 minutes ahead of schedule: a definite rock and roll first.
The band calls its style “New, Old-School Rock & Roll” and it’s appropriate. Trey is a bit of a vocal chameleon, at times channeling Tenacious D’s Jack Black or Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker which complements the very different of character of each song. There are playful songs, like the breakup tune “F**k You, Too” or the endlessly fun, tongue in cheek “Country Song Keywords,” and beautifully melodic alt-rock future staples like “Story Time,” “Last Flight ” or “Graduate.” They nail original Rock covers like Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” without so much as a second thought but where the band really shines is in its anthemic selections, songs like “No Regrets,” the oh-so appropriately named “Anthem” of course, or “Era,” which in the opinion of Your Girl In Music, is easily the best RNR tribute to RNR since the Stones “I Know It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It).”
Against a sonic scape of generally mediocre hooks and bands that are just trying too hard and taking themselves too seriously, The Hang delivers unpretentious, laid back, solid meat-and-potatoes rock and roll with ease while having a good time. These guys are friends, and they like each other, and they like their fans. Without trying to, they effortlessly bring everyone in. By the end of the gig, a room full of strangers felt thick as thieves and a thunder and lightning spiked Friday the 13th seemed like the luckiest day of the year for good music.
F**k You, Too
Country Song Keywords