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Show review: Deco Auto/Gas Pump Talent/The Empty Spaces at recordBar 6.9.12

Show review: Deco Auto/Gas Pump Talent/The Empty Spaces at recordBar 6.9.12

Deco Auto -- This fun-lovin’ 3-piece, whose songs all have a heartbeat to their rhythm, laid down the ground rules for the evening in 4/4 time; making it impossible not to wag your head to, while incessantly checking for loose floorboards under your shoe. With a nostalgic power-pop rock jingle, their dulcet vocal harmonies transformed you into a suburban kid on an adventure in a sugary coming-of-age summer movie. Their sound is reminiscent of earlier Soul Asylum and The Replacements, had those bands cut their teeth jamming with Dave Clark Five. Lead singer/guitarist Steven Garcia’s crunchy Les Paul guitar riffs bounced along in anthem to the purist backbeat stamped out tightly by Kansas City drum darling, Michelle Bacon. Wrapping a sexy vine around the triplet’s delight was the carefully melodic bassist/backing vocalist, Tracy Flowers – a perfect last name, when considering her sixties-styled vocal harmonies with Garcia. Blending well into their set were covers of “Needles & Pins” (Nitzsche/Bono, 1963), and “Time Won’t Let Me” (The Outsiders, 1966).

Next up, Gas Pump Talent from Springfield, MO – who describe their own sound as “stomp and holler” – showed they’ve learned to cunningly mash-up more acoustic genres than can be listed – and well. Sadly, I was out of eyesight of the stage throughout their relatively short set. Fortunately, I heard them just fine – recordBar’s sound guys consistently set a high bar. Gas Pump Talent showcased musically captivating, campfire, Ozark-styled country-crunk that had DNA speckles of Dylan, Springsteen and Waits sprinkled throughout. Their performance was infectious, often lending to an Irish folk vibe that beckoned you to order a whiskey drink, pull a chair up front, and sing along with any reoccurring stanza you heard. I recall debating their genre with some friends as we listened…this was much in vein, which always makes me happy. The Midwest consistently cultivates great bands that are hard to paint into a corner. ¡Viva Springfield!

Closing the night down for the evening was another 3-piece from Kansas City – The Empty Spaces. Their rock n’ roll blend of (dare I say) country, rockabilly and surf beach party made for attention-grabbing jams, which featured a squirrely Mat Shoare dancing about, yelping Femmes-esque vocals into the mic, while playing hooky rhythms on his guitar. Widening out their sound was the ever-busy, hard-hitting drum licks of Ross Brown, and jovial out-of-the-box bass man about town, William Brent Wright – who was stripped down to his under tank top by the night’s end. The guys looked like they were having a good ol’ time up on stage, which added to the decent-sized audience looking loose and ready to party – and that they did.

It was a fun, energetic night, with three bands that stylistically are different from one another, but together on a bill – made for a great Saturday night at the recordBar.

--Christian Anders Liljequist

Christian is a freelance writer. He will graduate from UMKC in the spring of 2013 with a BA in Communication Studies (Journalism & Mass Communication).

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