The Kemps, Astro Fang and John Rambo and the Vietnam Wars took over the Rock Lobster's stage Feb. 10, playing a free show sponsored by Butler Scion (which explained the presence of Scion 'zines and bottle openers on every table).
Up first was The Kemps, an Indianapolis band that established their home field advantage from note one, opening with a cover of "All I Have To Do Is Dream," first made famous in 1958 by the Everly Brothers. The sound of their four-piece, two-guitar attack bounced around the room through their brisk set. Their start-stop economy rock built to a climax that featured one member standing atop his amplifier for the start of the last song.
Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, Astro Fang then staked their claim to the venue. Outer space guitar effects mixed with an utterly aggressive rhythm section. The bass player used chords quite a lot and the drummer's kick pedal stayed warm all evening. I can honestly say it was one of the "loudest bands I've ever heard," as the shaky note scribbled in my notebook read. The set ended with a bang when the bass player picked up microphone with his teeth on the last song, "Super Rat."
John Rambo and the Vietnam Wars were charged with tying everything together, as they did recently at the Melody Inn's Punk Rock Night. The band was as consistently rocking as expected, building to an encore with Elvis Costello's "You Belong To Me."