Growl, Mole People, Party Girl, & Those Howlings at Cheer Up Charlies: Live Review

The_Mole_People-2We adored the old Cheer Up Charlies. And while the east side locale will always hold a special place in our hearts, there’s no denying how completely awesome the new space is. In addition to the increased space and the great new design and artwork, the venue has been bringing in some outstanding bills. It feels like every week, there’s a must-see show at Cheer Ups. Last Saturday night, we caught a bill of four outstanding Austin bands.

Party_Girl-2Those Howlings kicked off the night with a set of haunting, clanging indie rock before Party Girl took the stage to incite a throwback dance party. Members of Party Girl were formerly in the band The Carrots. While The Carrots embraced 60s pop sensibilities, Party Girl takes us to the 80s with Blondie/B-52s style melodies and quirk. I’m not sure how we haven’t heard of the band yet, since several of our friends were going nuts about the band playing before the set ever started. They really are a blast to watch–theatrical, expressive, and energetic. They play again on April 25th at Blackheart on a bill curated by Side One Track One.

The_Mole_People-6The Mole People performed next, delivering an explosive set of psych-tinged pop punk. Frontman Joshua Gamma delivers an impressively emotive performance, dancing and swaying as he sings and drummer Art Silva provides high quality rhythms that propel the songs forward. The Mole People are one of Austin’s most underrated bands, but a core of devoted fans stood down front for the duration of the show shouting along with the lyrics and requesting songs.

Growl_041114-5Growl headlined the night with a set of upbeat indie pop. The group’s new EP No Years, comprised of gritty power pop songs and catchy guitar hooks, has powered a newfound vitality in the band’s live set. Still a young band, the group has yet to release a full-length, but No Years marks the second EP in as many years, as it follows last year’s Gallery. The consistent material output and quality live show we saw Saturday has made Growl one of the city’s up-and-coming mainstays.

Check out photos from the night below. All photos © Bryan Parker & Pop Press International. Click any image to open in slideshow viewer.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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