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Show review: Federation of Horsepower/The Heroine/Circle of Trust/Drew Black & Dirty Electric, 10.13.12

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Show review: Federation of Horsepower/The Heroine/Circle of Trust/Drew Black & Dirty Electric, 10.13.12

(Photo by Randy Pace)

Davey’s Uptown Rambler’s Club played host to a sum-greater-than-its-considerable-parts show, headlined by hard-hitting KC powerhouse Federation of Horsepower and San Antonio rock act The Heroine. Local bands Circle of Trust and Drew Black and Dirty Electric rounded out the night, bringing speed, rock grooves, and swagger to the already promisingly heavy mix of styles.
Mr. Black and crew kicked the evening off with a dirty, infectious bounce in their step, the lyrical ironies favored by the frontman adding extra depth to their focused 4-piece rock sound and head-bobbing, hip-swaying catalog. New song “Curio Doll” was a standout, showcasing a disco-rebirth vibe that managed to fit smoothly in with their viciously catchy offerings. Dirty Electric’s well-honed rhythm section kept the bodies movin' amongst both devoted and newly interested attendees.
Following Dirty Electric, Circle of Trust provided the evening’s first dose of metal guitars and blistering speeds. CoT put forth alternating tempos, deep growls and shouts, and the ability to dial back from full-bore metalocalypse levels for the sake of dynamics—a concept sometimes lost amidst bands of brutal BPMs and full-bore stage threats. Their style is worth noting; amongst the thrash and guttural vocals, the careful listener will discern melodies formed outside the strictures many similar acts confine themselves within.
As The Heroine took to the stage, the crowd’s anticipation for the San Antonio group’s set became palpable, and those who wait patiently are definitely rewarded. The Southern quintet quickly demonstrated total control of the proceedings, keeping eyes and ears firmly on themselves until the last chord had been struck. The Heroine’s Texas-tinged rock marries an edgy, soulful crunch with head-bangin' breakdowns and a dose of good old-fashioned revivalist callbacks. Frontman Lynnwood King’s raspy screech and manic, hand-raised stage presence was perfectly complemented by the rootsy solos and thumping, driving rhythm section of his band brethren.
With most of the crowd left intact, ten-year scene veterans Federation of Horsepower calmly setup, preparing to establish their dominance over the weary, tired, and thoroughly inebriated. None were left wanting, as grungy, bluesy, full-bore rock punishment followed. Not even the scaling down of their sound just enough for Davey’s could hide a simple truth; Federation is undeniably built to be heard through 50,000 watts by a crowd of thousands. The driving root-to-arpeggio lines from bassist Johnny Catfish told the tale of how much horsepower the Feds can bring to any show, anywhere. Don’t let their longevity in the scene fool you—you should check them out now, and often.


--Mark Johnson



Mark is bassist, drummer, and jack of all trades in Dolls on Fire. He can pretty much do anything.

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