July 3rd, 2013 | Live reviews

The kids were out in full force. As were the OBEY crew who were shooting part of an upcoming documentary that night. I have been attending shows at The Smell for many years now, and I had never seen the place so packed with professional camera operators who were incorporating backlighting and sporting Canon 7D’s occasionally stopping to change out pricey 28mm and 35mm lenses to get the perfect shot. This was no ordinary Smell show, to say the least.

The eclectic array of bands, each channeling different genres, bothered me to some degree. These bands shared very little in common when it comes to musical genres. Adult Books kicked off the night with some sun-drenched anthems that seemed to straddle the worlds of garage rock and pop-punk. Although tight as a band, they just weren’t my “bag”, so to speak.

This show was Drinking Flowers’ record release party, and they were second to take stage. They were bland, like oatmeal without sugar. At times I felt as if I were going to fall asleep due to the monotonousness of their songs. I think I saw more kids walk out on their performance than any other act that evening.

Next up was Dirt Dress. This act’s particular brand of garage/psych never ceases to amaze. The swagger of its set had all the girls in the venue dancing and swaying back and forth. This came as a surprise because at most garage shows I go to, the kids just bob their heads up and down, hands in the pockets of their vintage denim jackets, remaining stationary the entire performance. But not on this night!

Dahga Bloom took the stage last. Every member of that band, sans the drummer, had gigantic pedal boards, which they adjusted during soundcheck to get the perfect delay, reverb and gain settings dialed in. This band performs with three bass players, so when the musicians dove into their first sludgy, doomesque song, I could feel the low frequencies deep in my chest, resembling the likes of Boris, Sleep, or Sunn O))). I was in for a nice treat when I realized that most of their set was actually psychedelic-oriented (my “bag”, finally!) with occasional reminders of stoner rock at times resembling Comets On Fire. With trippy visuals being emitted from a multi-colored light, coupled with a mind-bending psychedelic sound, I felt as if I were being transported back to circa 1967 at the UFO Club. Dirt Dress and Dahga Bloom definitely made the night worthwhile.

Daniel Carpenter