Concert Review: Dinosaur Bones, Idaho Syndrome


“We’re the Osmonds.” So begins Dinosaur Bones as they launch into their sub-popish version of “Crazy Horses.”

When musical influences converge, ranging from Australia’s Swingers to heavy metal’s Aerosmith; from the Osmonds to the Village People, who knows what the outcome will be. Only the Dinosaur Bones hold the key to that secret, and they share it with the audience at The Bar ‘N’ Grill. While their overall sound is more Seattle-influenced than anything (according to bass player / lead singer J.R., “Somewhere in between Nirvana and Nomeansno, that’s heaven.”), Dinosaur Bones paid tribute to a few groups through stylized covers, full of feigned and real parody, as well as playing their forceful original tunes such as “American White Trash” and “Hate Fuck.”

On stage, the mood was relaxed between songs as Rick Ruppel borrowed an Idaho Syndrome guitar when he broke a string of his own when J.R. mused, “We fucked that last song up. Of course you would have never known if I hadn’t have told you.”

The hour long set was tight and the Dinosaur Bones rocked The Bar ‘N’ Grill hard. Band members of a three piece outfit have to work hard to fill the gaps normally left to additional players and Dinosaur Bones did just that. It’s the straightforward songwriting and playing that makes them sound so good live. This show was Dinosaur Bones at their best. 

Idaho Syndrome, who are currently in the studio working on their first album, took time out from their busy schedules to play a show with Dinosaur Bones. The gig was stripped of its usual atmospheric qualities (i.e. no light show, no fog machine, few effects), but the band more than made up for it by resurrecting some of their older material that hasn’t made its way into a set for quite a some time.

“Turn” was one of these songs, with keyboardist Matt Taylor shaking the tambourine and singing backups. “Destruction” was overflowing with grinding, grating, scratching the chalkboard guitar sounds and was easily one of the best songs of the evening. Also, after some coercion from a few of us attending, the band played “Collusion,” their Joy Division-eque anthem gone mad, and my personal favorite.

Lead singer Ryley Fogg’s vocals were right on as well, and his sometimes mumbled lyrics were tonight, easily distinguishable.

Idaho Syndrome will end their recording stint in May and will be playing at the Pompadour Saturday, May 4 with Commonplace. Should be a hot show—be sure to catch it!

For more from the SLUG Archives:

Concert Review: The Jesus and Mary Chain

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