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Tuesday, 28 February 2012 20:18

Concert review: A Twin Cities triple bill with Polica, Marijuana Deathsquads and Total Fucking Blood at the Old Rock House, Monday, February 27

Polica Polica Jamie DeVillez
Written by Joe Duepner

The only constant of the night was the drumming.

Most good rock drummers have to be in shape similar to that of competitive athletes. Whereas the majority of drummers and athletes only deliver once a night, one of Poliça's two drummers cycled through three performances of varying styles for the drum-heavy bands of Total Fucking Blood, Marijuana Deathsquads and Poliça.

With a name like Total Fucking Blood one should rightly not expect ambiance or beauty. They should expect guttural screams piercing the indiscernible trash and thrash mayhem of guitar and bass strumming. A few of their songs were as quick and brutal as a high speed car wreck on an icy Russian highway. Occasionally they broke off into bent guitar solos that sounded eerily similar to the piercing feedback emitted when you put your head too close to someone that has hearing aids.

After the brutal onslaught of blood, the PA resumed playing cuts from the Clash's "Combat Rock."

Had I not watched Marijuana Deathsquads set up and turn on their assorted equipment on a table in front of the stage, I would have missed the seamless transition from old to new. The two drum sets, multiple processors and a MacBook Pro were wielded by the members of Poliça plus two others. The dueling drummers created not just rhythms but rolling melodies over which the four MCs chirped and chanted bent call outs. As a former cube monkey, I understand it can be difficult to get inspired while managing a digital screen, but not a lot of excitement emanated from the Deathsquad. Surely they are aptly named like their Blood brethren.

The two drum sets remained onstage for Poliça. A bass and vocalist Channy Leneagh bookended the sets. Unlike Deathsquad's delivery, Channy's voice was less distorted and piped out a fuller sound to go along with her stage presence. She rolled out her vocals over a chorus pedal and a little reverb with her eyes closed and her third eye on the totemic drumming cadence.

Like the land between the Twin Cities (Poliça's home turf) and St. Louis, Poliça covered a lot of ground. From the barren plains to scintillating city skyscrapers, Channy's voice wafted over the broken wall of sound like an ephemeral ghost. After pounding the skins all night, hopefully Poliça's beat keepers have skin left on their hands to continue on with the tour.

All photos by Jamie DeVillez.

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