“Last year we went up to this cabin in the woods and recored these tracks,” explained The Amboys‘ front-man, C.M. Smith, with a sentimental tone to the congregation that had assembled within the Boardwalk’s premier 10-pin penthouse and music locale, Asbury Lanes, to celebrate the release of the outfit’s sophomore record, Led Into The Woods. “because a lot of you folks asked for them. We made this album for you…and so you can dance your asses off.”
And dance the capacity crowd did, forming one of the larger pit promenades I’ve seen at The Lanes. Boisterous boot stompers, old fashion fist flailers, and a even a squadron of rude boys and girls skanked well into the evening to such overtly danceable Folk-Rock tunes from the collective’s new record such as “Worrisome,” “In The Woods,” and of course “Ashley Meets The Wolf…”
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With a stage decked in foliage and their faces adorned with savage war paint The Amboys delivered an equally raucous set featuring a spoken word performance by the outfit’s bass plucker and apparent poet laureate, Manny Castanon, who’s hilarious haiku to a boss read:
“I’ve worked here six months.
Resignation coming soon.
Eat all of the dicks.”
The Amboys’ set capped off a wonderful evening of music commenced by the four-man string band, Thomas Wesley Stern, who’s subdued Folk tunes spurred an alley-wide sing-along during the group’s first multi-microphone performance, apposed to the single condenser mic approach as is per usual for the outfit…it was a hit.
Elevator Art followed with a riotous display of Rock tunes complete with rainbow bright hoola hoops, a giant set of bongos, wash board percussion, Castanon on bass, an axe battle between he and the outfit’s six string bandit Liz Dayback, and even an outing, as axe wielder, vocalist, and flutist Daimon Santa Maria revealed to the mass of onlookers that he was in fact a lesbian before ripping into “Lesbian Father,” a newer track that will appear on the band’s sophomore studio release and follow up to its 2010 self titled debut full-length.
And yet it was Ben Franklin, the brooklyn-based outfit that shares a monicker with our country’s most gentle, spectacle sporting, pot smoking diplomat, which incited the most unruly dance party, a turbulent circle pit which saw members of The Abmoys and Mad Feather Group collide in an epic battle of the funkiest proportions, the rowdiest of limb flinging occurring during the Indie-Punks’ anthem “Fren Banklin,” which upon hearing the listener has some seriously heavy historical knowledge ingrained into their soul…check it out.
The evening came to a close with an act I’ve wanted to experience for a long time; theee genre hopping, theee garage toppling, theee bloodsucking…Theee Vampire Bats. The Toms River-based haze makers dabble in distortion like Van Goh did oils. This music is true Glam-Rock artistry, and the outfit a marvel which bypasses all the bullsh!t and gets straight into the intricacies of melting minds.
“(the last) Sha La La”
NOTE: Theee Vampire Bats feature Shaun Towey and Pat Cavanaugh of Wreaths, a Stoner-Rock act that’s live show transports the bystander to a red tinted dark room where a ghoulish paparazzo is in the midst of developing pictures of the devil. Take that for what its worth…It’s scary, fun, captivating stuff.
“Adult Life” by Wreaths
Photos From The Evening: