Review: JEFF the Brotherhood, Rooftop Vigilantes and Flaming Death Trap at the Firebird, Friday, April 9

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Liz Deichmann
Flaming Death Trap
If St. Louis has "buzz bands," then Flaming Death Trap would be numero uno, thanks to fresh EP and notable opening slots. Armed with two anime-like guitars, the four-piece ripped into dense, reverb-scorched noise before slight guitar problems. Lead singer Anthony Maurice quickly righted the situation and in earnest, the boys launched into a repertoire of Americana stoner party jams with songs such as "Throw Your Panties," "Let's Get High" and "Black as a Cadillac." Maurice reminded me of a young John McCauley (i.e. Deer Tick) with his barely noticeable drawl and stature, although he was a bit less rambunctious.

Jake and Jamin Orrall -- the real life brothers of JEFF the brotherhood -- set up directly in front of the stage, and with only one light on the floor, the Firebird transformed into an intimate lair not much different than a basement show. These Nashville boys immediately harnessed the rebellious intensity and swagger of garage rock, by playing crowd favorites such as "Heavy Days," the title track of their latest album.

JEFF -1.jpg
Liz Deichmann
JEFF the Brotherhood
Be it the brotherly love or the self-professed "thirteen months" of being on tour, the duo seamlessly connected to one another and the audience, creating a palatable tension and featuring powers fused together into a raw force. The culmination of the show came with "I Don't Need Your Tas-t" as Jake stalked toward his brother Jamin and arrived at the mic (and by his brother's side) in time for a heavy instrumental freakout. The young crowd was captivated by the immediacy of the duo, prompting them to shimmy and shake till the last reverbed out note punched the air.

Openers Rooftop Vigilantes gave St. Louis the first taste of their sugar-high garage punk. "Cartoon Crush" and "Encouraging the Fowl" best showcased the Lawrence, Kansas, band's smart-ass lyrics and interchange of screaming vocals.

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