Bands break free from garage to rock downtown Tucson

%09Courtesy+of+Melanie+Trecha

Courtesy of Melanie Trecha

Melanie Trecha

The local Tucson garage band Prom Body opened up for Los Angeles’ Cherry Glazerr and King Tuff last Saturday at a concert off of Toole Avenue. Prom Body, which has been gaining national popularity, opened up to a small audience. Prom Body has done its fair share of opening slots for incoming bands, such as Ty Segall, and the full set it performed was quite impressive.

Garage rock can range anywhere from wild and original to fuzzy and conventional, with most current bands falling into the latter category. I was glad to see that Prom Body is bringing its own originality and flavor to a great, but really overdone, genre, sounding almost shoe-gazey at some points. It’s already done some tour dates on the West Coast, but from now on, it’d be worthwile to catch this local gem in action before it really starts getting big.

Next up was the reason to be there — Cherry Glazerr, named after KCRW disc jockey Chery Glaser. Since its first EP to its debut on Burger Records, I have been so charmed by this band’s youth and weird lyrics. At first, when I heard “Grilled Cheese” and “Trick or Treat Dancefloor,” I was kind of pissed at the person I thought was trying way too hard to be a 16-year-old girl. Turns out she wasn’t pretending; guitarist and vocalist Clem Creevy isn’t even 18 yet, and her music is already being used by legendary house of couture Saint Laurent. The band’s latest single, “Had Ten Dollaz,” premiered on Vogue’s website and is absolutely unstoppable, even more so when performed live.

Since two of the three band members are still in high school, tour dates are scarce, so this was a rare chance to see a growing band in its raw youth. Creevy’s guitar melodies combined with the bass lines and tight, powerful drum bits, such as in “White’s Not My Color This Evening,” blew me away. This is a band with skills and stage presence way past its members’ ages. Cherry Glazerr played a few new songs as well, promising growth but maintaining its unique sound.

Closing out the show was headliner King Tuff. KT, mega garage rocker, has his own goofy, rock ’n’ roll-caveman-thing going, which most enjoyed on Saturday night. He and his band — composed of Old Gary and Magic Jake — mostly played songs from their new album, Black Moon Spell, but they somehow fell flat. Maybe it was the still tiny crowd, or maybe it was the lyrical simplicity and repetition of the new album, but I wasn’t feeling it. I saw videos of the previous night’s show in Phoenix (Cherry Glazerr also played), and it looked 20 times better. Maybe they weren’t feeling Tucson so much, either. Still, King Tuff’s talent and originality are undeniable; you’ve got to see him if he’s in town. Overall, it was a great night and a great show, as it always is on Toole Avenue.
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Melanie Trecha is a guest columnist from KAMP Radio.