Published: September 27, 2007
In the heart of the industrial section of Williamsburg lies an almost hidden treasure called Death By Audio. Located between Wythe and Kent Avenues on South 2nd Street just off the East River, this music venue is the place to go to hear undiscovered rock bands. The small studio-like space makes for an intimate setting that puts you close enough to the singers to see beads of sweat forming on their brow and the veins in their necks protruding with each verse.
On Sept. 14, the three featured artists included Big Bear, Pissed Jeans and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. For such relatively small bands, they drew a crowd close to 100 people; which was an accomplishment because without paying attention to the “scenesters” outside of the establishment, no one would know Death by Audio even existed.
Hip twenty-somethings in skinny jeans with punk hairdos packed into the venue (which was practically the size of a standard Fordham classroom) to nod their heads along to the music blaring before them. People trickled from the main room to the bar in the back and even outside to get some fresh air away from the haze of cigarette smoke that occasionally clouded the air.
At almost 9:45 p.m., an opening band appeared on stage to warm up the crowd. The singer screamed his slightly indecipherable lyrics into his microphone and even gave audience members the opportunity to sing with him. The passion that he put into his performance got the crowd going, and his exciting sporadic dance moves were entertaining to watch.
By the time Big Bear took the stage, the crowd was more than ready to hear some more music as the anticipation was building for the other two acts. Their lead singer and keyboardist stood in front of the stage, since there was not enough room for them to share the small platform with their bandmates. Their vocals were screeched out of the heart of the petite female lead singer, while the band added overwhelming drum and guitar playing. They seemed more concerned about creating intensity with their instruments than with their lyrics. The energy that filled the room got the crowd going and set the standard for the kind of fiery performances that would happen after them.
Pissed Jeans and Eddy Current Suppression Ring did not disappoint the overzealous rockers waiting for them. With Pissed Jeans being the band most people came to see, their performance was the most earsplitting as they tried to impress the crowd by screeching as loud as humanly possible. It was borderline painful at times, yet to those who enjoy that kind of music, it was heaven. The crowd went wild for Pissed Jeans.
Eddy Current Suppression Ring, on the other hand, went for a smoother rock sound that could be played on the shores of Australia where they hail from. They proved to be the sweet dessert everyone craves even after eating a big meal.
All three bands were unique in their performances, even though the type of music was very similar. Although the music drowned out the vocals at times, that is to be expected in garage, punk, and heavy rock music. Being able to move to the beat and enjoy the sound proved to be most important in this tiny venue; rather than protecting one’s fragile eardrums. It was slightly reminiscent of CBGB’s, where new artists performed to an enthusiastic crowd, just on a smaller and more local scale.
For those who enjoy more of an “in your face” type of music or need something to listen to when experiencing rage, Big Bear, Pissed Jeans and Eddy Current Suppression Ring are the perfect choices. While they are still unknown to the mainstream media, their music can be heard on their respective MySpace pages.
Until they reach glorified fame, bands similar to these will continue to perform at Death By Audio to audiences each week. This secretive venue is especially perfect for college students. At only eight dollars to enter, it’s a social atmosphere where you can hear new bands perform, while rocking out with people who have similar tastes as you do.
At Death By Audio, you’re bound to feel alive.