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SHOW REVIEW: Edison, Squatweiler, Shallow
8.15.97 Upstairs at Nick's, Philadelphia, PA

By: Jeff Lockwood

Being the on-time kind of person that I think I am, I got to Nick's late and missed Shallow. So there goes my review of them. Sorry.

I did, however, manage to get there in time to see the North Carolina band, Squatwieler, set up and play. This quartet had an angry loud kind of sound to them. The lead singer's pep and conversation with the uh...crowd (there were no more than 20 people in attendance) led me to believe that she was once a grade school cheerleader.

While I liked the fact that they had two basses, I was not too impressed with their musicianship. The guitarist broke a string during the third song and he stopped playing and picked up his spare guitar. I thought that the rest of the band was just going to improv until he plugged in the new one, but he was not prepared for such an incident and the band stopped long enough for him to tune the fresh guitar. They then started the song all over again. But, I forgave them because it was their last show of the tour.

For the most part, Squatweiler delivered a fast paced "post-punk" ride that was interesting at some points and actually rocking at others. They didn't annoy me, so they can't be that bad.

While not local to Philadelphia, Edison does call Pennsylvania home, but their sound is much bigger than you would expect out of a band from Altoona! Without trying to make a comparison here, the wall of sound that this four piece band emits reminds me of that rather popular band of which a man named Ian is a member. But that is where it ends. The members of Edison are rock stars in the making. They play with an intensity that is not seldom seen and have a stage presence with enough savvy to charm MTV execs.

Edison played for about 40 minutes. I never heard or saw them before so I can't pick out specific songs to explain. But I can tell you that some songs had nice hooks while other songs had some serious guitar distortion going while the rhythm section held a good groove. If I am not mistaken, I think that I actually heard a song slow enough to be considered a...uh...ballad. Like I said, rock stars in the making.

It is a shame that less than 25 people showed up for this show. Part of the problem may have been the fact that it was an over 21 show. The small size of the room, the volume of the amps, the small crowd and the fresh sounds of rock made my ears ring for a couple of days and remind me of what life was like before corporate greed took over "alternative" music.

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