Dirty Tactics (courtesy of myspace.com/dirtytactics)
Dirty Tactics, Bring Your Guns, Heathen Ass Worship, and Royal Abbey
November 29, 2007
Burt’s Tiki Lounge
By Joey Richards
I was in a bad mood when I went to Burt’s Tiki Lounge to see Bring Your Guns. They were playing with bands I had never heard. Thus, I was speaking aural atrocities and dealing with unbearable boredom. I walked nervously into Burt’s, ordered the hipster ambrosia (PBR), and settled into a corner.
I watched the opening four-piece band, Royal Abbey, begin to set up and my fears of lackluster performances seemed to loom closer. They began to play and I could not help but grimace. I looked about to see if I had mistakenly stumbled into a fraternity party. Their seven-song homage to Def Leppard and Nickelback seemed designed for the simple purpose of scoring some ass.
I was now nervous that the night would be a total bust. Then Bring Your Guns took to the stage and rescued me from a night of pompous horror. This quintet from Logan was the exact opposite of Royal Abbey. They had a modest, no-fluff presence and seemed content to play upbeat indie rock. Their second song, my favorite of the set, had a distinct keyboard drive and a style that nicely evoked the Violent Femmes and The B-52s. The rhythm section was solid and interesting without being too showy, and the rhythm and lead guitars had a catchy interplay. Vocalist Brady Hitchcock’s emotional vocal delivery slid right into the music and moved the songs along. They left me feeling pleased, and I happily sauntered to the bar for another beer.
I was now at a turning point. I had to watch two more bands of which I had never heard. Would they crush me or carry me to ecstasy? I was ruminating the rest of my evening when an extended period of indecipherable reverb and noise hit me like a suburbanite at the opening of Ikea. I regained consciousness to learn that the source of the noise was Philadelphia band Dirty Tactics. The three-piece punks turned up the volume enough to ensure I had no idea whether they deserved extolling or expelling. I know only two things for certain: First, the drummer was quick and talented. Second, the closing cover of the Violent Femmes song, “Add It Up,” was actually good. I usually hate covers.
So far, I had heard detestable frat-boy drivel, catchy indie rock, and deafening noise. I had no clue I was about to enter a realm of local rock that would become legend. Heathen Ass Worship is: Princess Sasha on guitar, Litterbox of Gloryhole on bass, and Dirty Melissa on a drum kit that could easily pass as spare parts from Roswell. This triumvirate of tawdry transvestites strapped on their gear and asked us all if we were ready to worship in their temple. I mustered every drop of fervor I had and belted an “Amen!” I was then a witness to a heavenly vision that would make John’s revelations as banal as snippets from US Weekly. With songs titles like “Vomit Cock,” “Crack Tits” and “Dick Punch,” Heathen Ass Worship were a big “fuck you” to everyone. While many local bands whine about living in Utah, Heathen Ass Worship opted to piss freely on sacrosanct practices and walk on, unconcerned. Their set was a raucous smash up of the loud, cross-dressing best of The New York Dolls and the over-the-top, classic guitar riffs of Tenacious D, except, Heathen Ass Worship are much more hilarious and flagrant than the latter.
I left the worship service swearing to follow Heathen Ass Worship to the ends of the earth, which I am pretty sure will be a dilapidated brothel.