Acid Dad @ DC9 - 1/9/17

It’s every band’s dream to go on tour from city to city, and NYC-based band Acid Dad is finally doing just that. While they have just one EP under their belt, 2016’s Let’s Plan a Robbery, they played an energetic hour-long set of self-described ‘psych-punk’ music that took some pages from the both genres to make some great rock music.

Given the differing paces of punk rock and psych rock, the idea of psych-punk music seems odd. Their set brought both worlds together in one strong set, but their execution in combining both genres isn’t quite there yet. Songs like “Digger (Gotta Get That Money)” could be the soundtrack to a skater montage that you dug up in a box of old VHS tapes. Its frenetic pace and crunchy power chords were relentless and singer/guitarist Vaughn Hunt did his best Ramones impression. 

Vaughn Hunt of Acid Dad at DC9 in Washington, DC - 1/9/17 (photo by Mauricio Castro/ @TheMauricio )

Vaughn Hunt of Acid Dad at DC9 in Washington, DC - 1/9/17 (photo by Mauricio Castro/@TheMauricio)

“Brain Body” featured slow, flanger-/reverb-soaked guitars that could fit well on a Cream track, but soon erupted into a loud, rocking explosion of snares, cymbals and guitars. Their energy and musicianship are great, but it’s probably more accurate to describe them as a band that can play psych rock alongside punk rock rather than combine the two into one sound. But as a relatively new band, they’re still in the midst of carving their niche.

Regardless of the genre labels placed on them, the band excels at in-your-face, we’ll-do-whatever-we-want rock music, and they wouldn't have it any other way. They have the infectious on-stage energy of a band excited to go on tour for the first time, but they play with the precision of a band that has been around for much longer than that. For Acid Dad, there’s nowhere to go from here but up.

Brookyn’s Ian Sweet served up melodic and slightly mellower tracks with a whole lot of freewheeling guitar. Jilian Medford’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of fellow Brooklynite Frankie Cosmos, but with more punch. Their latest album Shapeshifter is out now through Hardly Art. And armed only with a guitarist and a drummer, DC duo Teen Mortgage opened with energy that was just as brash as Acid Dad, suggesting what a band that melds The White Stripes and Sex Pistols could sound like. They have one song available on Bandcamp, “Wake You Up”, but their impressive showing should have DC music enthusiasts (and rock enthusiasts in general) on the lookout.

Photos by Mauricio Castro
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