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Photo Gallery: Naked @ Bowery Electric, July 2011

As promised, here are a slew of photos to illustrate my report on Finnish glam rockers Naked’s U.S. Summer Tour kick-off at The Bowery Electric on July 20th.

Click any image to launch the gallery.

Helsinki Hellions Electrify Bowery

Hell(sinki) Yeah!

Revved up, fist pumping music that’s serious about only one thing; having some serious fun. That’s what Naked present and represent. It’s a brand of party rock that came out of garages and frat houses in the sixties to mutate into the likes of everything from The Stooges and The MC5 to The New York Dolls, Cheap Trick, and Kiss. Hailing from Helsinki Finland, home of Hanoi Rocks (probably the only 80’s glam band that got it right), Naked have gained much success, an international following, and radio play since their inception in 2001.

Bowery Boyz
I caught the July 20th opening night set at The Bowery Electric on New York’s Lower East Side; a fitting spot to begin since the video for single “Sonic High” prominently features East Village sites. Though essentially plugging their newest album “Double Down” the set included a nice mix of material from across their ten year career. Kicking off the evening with “Revolution” the band immediately displayed its strong suit, trashy rhythms with instantly catchy choruses punctuated by three part harmony vocals. Naked’s ability to pull off their song’s recorded harmonies on stage is impressive and was highlighted later in the set by a surprise snippet of the acapella opening of Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls”.

While each member clearly exudes his own personality, offering the audience a host of possibilities to focus on, the group also gives off a cohesive “band of brothers” vibe. Wiry lead vocalist “The Muff” – so dubbed for his mushroom cloud of pitch black hair – is an energetic and engaging front man. Minus the goatee he sports in the band’s videos he gave off an even more youthful appearance as he exhorted the fans to join in on sing-a-long choruses. In addition to vocal duties Muff chunks out the raucous rhythm chords that define this style of music. Bassist Ilari was all smiles and exuberance belying the fact that he had only arrived in The States a few hours before the gig and guitarist Zack reeled off strings of lead melodies between singing harmonies. “Mr.” Tikka’s solid drum work added a sturdy backbone to the freneticism that unfolded before him.

SkeletonPete Says

I will confess that Naked won me over early when I spied a Mosrite “Ventures” guitar on stage. It’s a garage punk fan-boy’s sucker punch if there ever was one. Though they left the confetti machine at home, it was great to experience the band’s play-to-the-rafters style in the Bowery Electric’s confines.

Still Time To Get Naked
As of this writing there is still an opportunity to catch the band in the New York area, which I highly recommend you do. Check Naked’s website for current tour details.

Where’s the Pictures, Pete?
My photo coverage of the Bowery Electric gig can be found here. Lots of images to document the rollicking good time had by all. You should also check out Ken Pierce’s fun “Day Out With The Muff” report.

A Perfect(s) Weekend

It’s always a treat to see up and coming musicians do their thing on a small stage in an intimate venue. So it was a real pleasure getting to hear indie band The Perfects do a set at Pianos in New York City this past weekend. The Baltimore Maryland based group has been making (new) waves on the Indie charts over the last couple of months with their 2000’s take on dance pop and they were in town to showcase tunes from their upcoming album. Previous material has been featured in a bevy of reality shows including Road Rules, Bad Girls Club Miami, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

The group reflects an interesting mix of influences from the synth laden 80’s while not being too influenced by anyone in particular. Reviewers have noted Duran Duran and The Cure when assessing their style, I’m hearing hints of Tears For Fears in tunes like “Many Nights”. The new single “Girls That Dance” will send you “mind movies” of early MTV days. On stage The Perfects produce a sound that leans more towards Dark Wave than Dance Pop with songs like “Party of Two” , “Revo”, “Come Down” and my favorite “The Hidden” taking on a harder, edgier, feel like latter day Echo and The Bunnymen or New Order.

The new album titled “Many Nights” and produced by Nic Hard (The Bravery) is scheduled for release via download on July 26. Baltimore fans who attend their record release show at The Metro Gallery on July 24, 2011 can grab a limited edition hard copy including bonus tracks with their paid admission.

Click any image to launch the gallery.