Pearls and Brass
The Indian Tower
Pearls and Brass just weren't made for these times. The Nazareth, Penn., trio specializes in bluesy, '70s hard rock. Not metal, mind you, but rock with an emphasis on Randy Huth's blazing, condensed bursts of guitar riffage, studding mannered, sliding-scale avalanches, engineered by bassist Joel Winter and drummer Josh Martin. Unruly sideburns, souped-up hogs, leather pants, dudes with eyes tightly closed pouting copiously during intense air-guitar sessions; The Indian Tower inspires positive contemplation of all these things, at a relatively reasonable volume. The boisterous "The Boy of the Willow Tree" writhes and rushes with so many monster chord and tempo changes that it's hard to draw a bead on it for longer than a few seconds. Leaner, meaner and glossed with righteous group "ooooooos" and "ahhhhhs," "The Face of God" is equally thrilling in its monolithic, headband glory.
Huth's vocal delivery sometimes evokes a '90s grunge milieu. On "Pray for Sound," he resembles a less slappable Chris Cornell. But for "I Learn the Hard Way," Pearls and Brass dial things way down into back-porch bluesman mode, all three members harmonizing warmly atop a kindling of acoustic strums and blooming cymbals.
Pearls & Brass play Smith's Olde Bar Thurs., Jan. 31. $7. 8 p.m. 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.