It was a Sunday night in Brooklyn and Crowbar was at the recently-busted Santos Party House, so I thought I’d skip out on the Boardwalk Empire season finale (DVR’ed it) and check out the live set from Allston heavy rockers Black Thai at Hank’s Saloon. Between all these factors and the fact that it was cold as fuck out, I didn’t anticipate much of a crowd at Hank’s for Black Thai or Thinning the Herd, who opened — all the better to go. Fewer people means fewer assholes. Woody from Mighty High was there, and a few others, but Hank’s is a small room anyway, so it worked out.
This was the second or third time I’ve seen Thinning the Herd, and of all the bands kicking around New York right now, I just get the feeling these guys are on the right track. Especially in the work of guitarist/vocalist Gavin Spielman, they’ve got tremendous potential, and if they got hooked up with the right recording engineer, who understands their kind of music — riffing and aggressive, but still aware of melody — they could come out with something really killer. They weren’t as tight at Hank’s as when I saw them last at The Trash Bar, but a little looser worked great for the Sunday night and the laid back atmosphere of the show.
Black Thai killed. They barely fit on the stage, the four of them, but even in tight quarters, they rocked hard and heavy, drummer Jeremy Hemond (Roadsaw, Cortez) reaching high to nail his cymbals time and again, and guitarist Scotty Fuse (also Cortez) and guitarist/vocalist Jim Healy (ex-We’re all Gonna Die) emitting riffs and solos with charisma and energy while bassist Cory Cocomazzi filled out the low end and added a moodier feel to the material. They’d played the release show for their Blood from on High EP (review coming soon) the night before in their native Massachusetts, and some of that energy clearly carried over to Brooklyn. It was a welcome addition to the evening.
It wasn’t the highest profile show happening in New York Sunday night — for that matter, neither was Crowbar — but both Black Thai and Thinning the Herd delivered big, making it well worth the drive from Jersey on my end. It was great to see Black Thai for the first time live after listening to the two tracks from their demo (with which they opened the set) and to get to know Thinning the Herd better as a live act. The night wrapped at about midnight and I headed back through Manhattan and the Holland Tunnel feeling better than I’ve felt coming back from Brooklyn in a long time.
Tags: Allston, Black Thai, Brooklyn, Massachusetts, New York, Thinning the Herd