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Cowboy Messiah - Pure - Ultra-Mega - Super Dot - Paychecks Lounge, Hamtramck - 05/01/10

By Krazy K
Motor City Blogger

The Venue:

Paychecks Lounge is one of the best actual venues in Hamtramck. I stress the word "actual" because a lot of places in Hamtramck claim to be venues, but in reality turn out to be shitty venues with crappy sound systems. But Paychecks has more than ample sound reinforcement, a big spacious stage, and the best lighting system in Hamtramck (great for photos!).

Not my favorite beer selection, because they had no IPA's, or Dark Lager's. Newcastle was their darkest brew. So sometimes a Budwieser is in order, which was $3.00

And as my tradition in reporting, the bathrooms were fine. No scary situations or uniquely dangerous / uncomfortable locations. Typical stickers, and clever slogans, and rebuttals to slogans on the wall.

As far as Hamtramck venues go, Paycheck's is a 9 out of 10. One point deduction for beer selection.

The Performance:

There were five bands, but I got there late and only saw four. I sincerely apologize to Luscious Delicious for not seeing their set, but they certainly sound delicious...and luscious.

The second band of the night, Cowboy Messiah, was the clear front-runner in terms of musical variety and versatility. Their name might lead you to believe they could sound country-ish, but scarcely did I associate their sound with country music. Perhaps southern-rock would be more fitting if I had to narrow their genre, but that soon became defunct when they intertwined reprises of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On", Marshall Tuckers "Can't You See", and the classic doo-wop song "Earth Angel" by The Penguins. Great energy and confident musical prowess.

The third band, Pure, might best be summed up by three t-shirts that were worn by the band members. In some strange, metaphysical way it makes sense to describe the band as Kiss, mixed with Jimi Hendrix, and sprinkled with The Goonies (the movie). If that is too "far-out" for you, imagine Black Sabbath inspired riffs, with Alice & Chains vocal styling, and Joe Satriani guitar leads. Bordering on headbanging rock, yet still melodic dynamics, Pure was the hardest rocking band of the night.

The fourth band, Ultra-Mega, had recently lost their vocalist. Their previous project, with vocals, was called Hoss Burley, but with the remaining band members staying strong, they rocked out a mostly instrumental set. They seemed very well rehearsed, and had exceptional percussion. Maybe that's what happens when the singer disappears...the drums become more vibrant. Perhaps another Black Sabbath, Detroit-rock inspired sound, but once they get their vocals together I'm sure that will increase their overall feel.

The fifth and final band, supposedly on the verge of stardom in the mid-1990's, Super Dot, reminded me of something...the mid-90's. The distinct sound of Ska, while not my personal favorite style of music, certainly has a happy energy that makes me think of California beaches, swing-dancing, and the Macarena. At one point during their peak they consisted of 11 members, but now dwindled to six guys still going strong. They were super crisp, well-experienced, and energetic musicians. The flow of their set was the best of the night, mixed with trumpet, trombone, saxophone solos, great vocals, and bouncy ska energy.

Music Links: Luscious Delicious, Cowboy Messiah, Super Dot