Kickin’ ACIDIC at The Whisky

Written by on April 15, 2010 in April 15, 2010, Live Reviews - 2 Comments

Local lads unveil sophomore CD, “Get Lucky”

AcidicWhat a treat it was for Southland music fans to behold ACIDIC, a band long known to All Access Magazine, standing strong and delivering a hefty helping of hot new music on the venerable stage of Hollywood’s Whisky-A-Go-Go.  It has been almost three years since an earlier incarnation of ACIDIC competed in a battling-band contest in Northridge, and that playing-to-win spirit remained brightly evident on Friday, April 9, when ACIDIC brought to life a slew of songs from their new CD, “Getting Lucky,” for an eager houseful of friends and fans. And lucky listeners got luckier still, finding that on a table in back, band manager Mary Lyon and her helpful minions had provided platefuls of magnificent munchies to complement ACIDIC’s tasty tunes.  There were lots of big chocolate-chip cookies, cellophane-wrapped and sporting ACIDIC’s trademarked green logo. One tray of good-looking morsels bore a sign that said “Chocolate-Covered Bacon” – huh, what will they think of next?!? – and when a bystander confirmed this was true, at least one vegetarian attendee skipped those innovative tidbits, favoring instead the chocolate-dipped marshmallows that sat atop the spread’s central tower of cookies. And as an added bonus, fans were given chic black-and-green ACIDIC wristbands, made from recycled silicone, how green indeed! (But hmm, where did that silicone come from?!?)

When the band came on at 9 p.m., they fired on all cylinders while belting out the punchy first two tracks from the new CD, “Tell Me” and “The Big Bang.” Sound quality was outstanding, letting each instrument hold its own in a well-balanced mix that also permitted vocal clarity. Lead guitarist/vocalist Michael Gossard interfaced expertly with new guitarist Michael Thompson, as the two produced walls of sonic texture that were busy but not blurry. Moving on to an older tune, “Strata Red,” Gossard set down his guitar and made a foray off the stage and into the crowd. With a segue into “Roadhouse Blues,” the young frontman paid homage to the memory of a Whisky regular from days gone by, Jim Morrison, whose picture is still found on the club’s wall. Concluding his offstage excursion with The Beatles’ “Come Together,” Gossard returned to center-stage for the title cut from ACIDIC’s debut CD, “Ironic Dreams.” The band then did much more than okay with a song called “It’s OK,” following with “Waiting for Someone” and then the ruggedly roiling “Black Box.” For that fixture ditty, Thompson again handled six-string duties while Gossard headed offstage to press the flesh some more. Next, a new song called “No Name” featured Thompson plucking out the opening instrumental line riff, with Gossard joining in to add driving chords, while the two vocalized in savory rock harmony. This pattern was repeated for the set-closer, “Liar,” which was highlighted not only by a tasteful lead from Gossard, but also by the spontaneous eruption of a friendly mosh-pit near the stage, featuring smiling rather than sneering participants, and good-natured nudges in place of punkish slams. And all those happy fans simply couldn’t let the lads leave without an encore, so after a hearty round of cheers and applause, ACIDIC’s triumphant CD-release party ended with the aptly-titled “Retrograde.” Gossard broke out the wah-wah pedal for the vintage riff on his red Fender, with Thompson chiming in while drummer Matt Whitaker laid down fluid rolls and bassist Ted Dubrawski added his own lowdown electric thunder.

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There’s no denying what a strong asset Mike Thompson is to an already-accomplished outfit. Ted is also a fine singer, but it seems he might have held back on his own supporting vocals a bit, just because the tonal mesh achieved between the “two Mikes on two mics” was already so solid. It’s great to see Michael Gossard continuing to grow as a seasoned, engaging frontman, with the whole band putting polish on their chops, becoming ever more professional in their presentation – while retaining the distinctive heart and soul of their rock-and-roll. With such a band, a show, and a new record like this, it looks like everybody, all the way around, is “Getting Lucky” with ACIDIC!

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