The Tight Bro's From Way Back When

Nothing too unusual about what The Tight Bro's From Way Back When do: metal masquerading as punk performed by five guys who can't decide if they want to be AC/DC or the Ramones, but only because they can't all be Chuck Berry. If you happened to be at Trees when Sweden's Hellacopters came through town a few weeks ago or at Bar of Soap's Trash Fest about a month back, you've heard it all before. It's rock and roll, plain and simple -- guitar, bass, drums, and a frontman who can scream his way to the end, '50s rock filtered through '90s punks who grew up on '70s metal. Loud and fast are the only rules, and The Tight Bro's never break either one, rushing through each song on their just-released Kill Rock Stars debut Runnin' Thru My Bones as though they're tired of playing it as soon as they start.

Maybe they're just tired of playing the same song. Once you've heard "Hurricane" -- the first track off Runnin' Thru My Bones -- you've heard 'em all, every song a slight variation of the same theme, three chords wrapped around singer Justin's two-note shriek. To say the least, it becomes tiresome after a while. Track Five, "Strut," with its "be-bop-a-lula" chant, was my breaking point. Of course, the band isn't that different from the number of local groups who do the same thing with varying degrees of skill and success, most notably the Riverboat Gamblers, who have the talent and charisma to make up for anything they lack in originality. The Tight Bro's, on the other hand, have neither; it could be a different story live, where enough sweat and guitar salutes can allow anything to approach entertaining (cf. ASKA).

To give The Tight Bro's the benefit of the doubt, the band is obviously aware of the clichés it has so hopelessly wrapped itself in. From the prolific use of exclamation points in both song titles (14 in 11 songs) and lyrics (just about every one) to the schlocky packaging and the generic songs about cars, girls, and rock and roll, Runnin' Thru My Bones seems to be somewhat of a spoof of the garage-rock scene, an inside gag that about five people will get. Still, that may be giving the band too much credit, and besides, a joke that has to be explained isn't that funny anyway. And if The Tight Bro's are not joking, well, I just lost 30 minutes of my time I'm never going to get back.

-- Zac Crain

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