Milktooth Bite St. Louis
J. Gordon
1/17/2010 6:30:23 PM

Itís a rare night these days when one goes out for live music and thinks, I might really be seeing something here. One day, people wonít believe a band like this ever played at Lemmonís. Thatís kind of how weíre feeling about Milktooth. I say ďweíreĒ because this was pretty much unanimous opinion throughout the house. Here is a band no one knew anything about, out of Nashville, Tennessee, doing a forty-minute set of some of the most original, experimental-yet-melodic music to arrive in St. Louis in some time.

Frontman David Condos has a different, kind of screechy crack to his voice that is at once likeable in its vulnerability, and cool-ly different. His vocals are perfectly complemented by the drummer, Noah Denney, who is really the star of this show. Denneyís got an angelic, pretty voice to balance all of Condosí roughness, and a gleeful energy thatís inescapable. Or maybe that impression is due to the fancy little derby he wears. Whatever it is, it must be said that Denney is one of the most creative and versatile drummers out there today. Denney brings grinding sounds and rim hits into the mix with the regular beats, adding this layered texture thatís just astounding to see live, for what you can see in that dim stage light of Lemmonís. Itís good on recording too, but really, no one gets how seriously talented this young man is until they see him doing it all at once, and singing too.

Condosís no lazy, posing-only three-chord frontman, though. A hairy boy in flannel and jeans, heís also on keyboard and hitting a tom or two of his own. Ian Leach on bass is the solid, backbone support, playing it cool. The band plays with an arresting amount of passion, and this was the only show the audience stopped checking for phone messages and small talking. Check them out for yourself at: the milktoothmusic Myspace page.

Opening was Bulletpop, a half-decent pop-punk band fronted by a cute girl who canít really sing. But since when is that a requirement for punk rock? AXO followed Milktoothómore hardcore than this writerís leanings can fairly comment upon, but some interesting keyboard melodies surprised us under the roughness. The Otto Modest closed out the night; a band with tons of talent and about six completely different sounds, which makes it hard to say what theyíre about, or what their genre even is, but itís good, and listenable, and theyíre certainly worth checking out.


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