Mermaid Purse, The Valentines, Andrew Tinker

If a club show could be likened to a sandwich, The Valentines' Saturday night set was like a slice of off-brand bologna between two pieces of bland white bread: familiar, kinda satisfying but nothing special. The night started with a generic country-rock band fronted by former Polyphonic Spree French horn player Andrew Tinker, hell-bent on throwing out every bar-band cliché in the book and ending the night with a cover of "Luckenbach, Texas" (at the line "Ain't nobody feeling no pain," I felt like shouting, "Speak for yourself!") and a seemingly endless version of "American Pie." Dallas' Mermaid Purse ended the night with generic alt-rock anthems that were nothing like what you'd expect from former Doosu singer Eric Shutt. The most tolerable performance came from Dallas' Valentines. Certainly better off by comparison to the other bands, the quartet at least had hints of life, and girls and guys in the crowd alike had serious eye candy in the forms of guitarist Chris Holston and keyboardist/player-of-an-almost-silent-acoustic-guitar Laura Harrel. The band sounded like an even-less-threatening version of The Strokes with some psych keyboard flourishes and very pretty vocal harmonies. In "Lock the Door," lead singer Joey McClellan unconvincingly sang, "I robbed the drugstore / Needed money to save my life," despite the fact that nobody in the band looks capable of anything more serious than swiping an undersized Abercrombie T-shirt. The Valentines--composed of players in Dallas radio-friendly acts like Tripp Fontaine and The Now--has only been together since January. Maybe with some more time, they'll come up with a more memorable sound.

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