By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Overlooked and underrated are two apt descriptions surrounding Floor 13. Too bad, then, since these boys' powerhouse live show and new-wave-meets-glam tunes could easily be pulling in some of the city's biggest audiences. Surely all those displaced tomorrowpeople and Tripping Daisy fans need a new home, right? Floor 13 does it better than both those bands, anyway, at least in terms of keeping to rock's bile and balls while dallying with calculated decadence. Not purely technical decadence, though the generous layering of guitars and synths and affected vocals isn't exactly spare, but more so the decadence of spirit: The sound is sex-and-drugs-and-rock-and-roll, the whole shebang.
This brand-new, self-released, self-titled EP can't relay the ear-combusting volume of a Floor 13 show, but it does let you in on the goods: hooks as dense and rocky as an active volcano, rant-along choruses, breaks that evoke Budokan crowds stomping their boots en masse. (Even the song titles pay homage to an era of rock-star excess: "The High Life," "Hollywood," "Turn Me On"--you can practically see these guys lounging in a dark corner of Max's Kansas City, swapping eyeliner and rolled-up hundred-dollar bills). In the music you hear everything from the Cars to Slade to even good ol' Richard Hell, yet the consistency that surfaces is impressive (in the biz, we call this "a band with its own sound"--something others might want to look in to). By the EP's last track, the whole comes off not like bites from rock history, but rather like Floor 13. C'mon, kids. Time to feel the noise.
Floor 13 plays New Year's Eve with fellow self-made rock stars the tomorrowpeople at the 8.0. Go figure .
Nick & Homer
Nick Tosches and Homer Henderson
Originally intended as a Christmas present for Nick Tosches' nearest and dearest, this three-song CD's too damned good to rest in the grubby hands of the privileged few; coming soon is the vinyl version available for mass consumption. Henderson provides the music and vocals (except for one, and the "Pizza Man" is Nick just as the Walrus was Paul), and Tosches takes credit for the lyrics, as befits America's best scribe. Tosches finds salvation between "The Sweet Thighs of Mother Mary" (from whose bosom "bubbled whiskey like milk"), while Henderson makes the author whole, surrounding his words in the damnedest, lushest Mysterians strings-and-keyboards arrangement; this is what grown men dream of when they lust for the, ah, womb. Even better is the he-really-is-Jimmy-Reed number "The Things I Got," about the perfect woman (that is, a "dick-suckin' angel who wears endangered-species shoes"). And even better is the trash-can drone of "Pizza Man," about a man who loves his job, maybe too much. Only three songs, and I have this down as best local record of the year.