My Pet Saddle and Death Hymn Number 9 at Continental Room

The Hype: On the brink of releasing their first full-length album, Fullerton's My Pet Saddle are one of those bands that have no problem drawing a flash mob of local fans to whatever stage they happen to land on. And we're always hoping they'll throw out a new batch of old-sounding sonic gems in their set.

Fullerton's lounge-style watering hole, the Continental Room, is always
a prime setting to practice new material. They were joined by the
face-painted bluesy thrash duo Death Hymn Number 9. Both bands happen to be veterans of our Locals Only column. (EDITOR'S NOTE: We're going to have to remind our readers that Miguel Gomez of the band My Pet Saddle called our Web Editor/Trendzilla columnist a “chink” and “cunt” via e-mail–the band's official e-mail address, we might add–for saying his fedora was popular.)

The Show: Diving headlong into a rough and tumble barrage of '60s garage riffs and rousing gang vocals, My Pet Saddle's performance commanded drunken war cries from their die-hard friends and fans, who filled up the tiny dance floor just beyond the stage. Though they've played a decent share of House of Blues gigs and LA hipster dens in the past year, they looked right at home under the bar's gritty, crimson light. 

The set didn't really offer any new songs, which isn't a bad thing, considering most of the crowd was content to shuffle around and sing along to old standbys, including the riotous blues riffs of “Il Fait Beau,” the nasally harmonies on “Take A Seat” and the rockabilly-tinged “Gimme My Soul.” Energized by the hometown vibes, guitarist/vocalists Caleb Palomo and Chris Darley led the charge while bassist Miguel Gomez, drummer Jacob Fosdick and newly-added keyboardist Alyson Kennon made use of their cramped surroundings as best they could, relentlessly bobbing along to the folky rhythms. They ended with the tom-thumping, piano-plunking garage pop of “Shoe Shaker,” irreverently requested by the audience.
The night had started quite differently, amidst the thunderous drums and blood-curdling screams of Death Hymn Number 9. Though the spastic, stripped-down duo is often seen as an opening act for more “conventional” hipster acts, the group's magnetic, mildly-insane zombie-thrash could've taken top billing last night.
With a playing style as down-and-dirty as their stage names, drummer “Sleazy P” and guitarist “Rack 'Em Frack 'Em” deliver a stage show free of inhibitions and showy instrumental solos. (Full disclosure: Frack 'Em, a.k.a. Troy Bootow, is also the promoter
and booking agent for the Sunday night showcases at Continental. ) Instead, tracks like “I Reckon You're Gonna Die” are laced with satanic twanging, big-beat thuds and the raw intensity that comes through their sparse, off-mic vocals. Imagine the Black Keys on crack and covered in face paint and you kinda get an idea of where these guys are coming from.  We've heard whisperings about the band getting a new singer…while we're interested to hear what that would sound like is it really possible for a front man (or woman) to get a lyric in edgewise over all this chaos?
The Crowd: Beer-swigging, tattooed twenty-somethings who would rather be in the cramped comfort of the outdoor smoking patio than actually inside the bar…until the music started, of course.
Overheard: One My Pet Saddle fan was more than happy to give the band a piece of his mind when they complied with the crowd's request to end their set with” Shoe Shaker”: “Yeah, you better play that fuckin' shit, mother fuckers.” Who knew people took their  light-hearted, indie folk-rock so seriously?

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