Mouthbreathers & Rooftop Vigilantes at the Replay – military friendly colleges

Rooftop VigilantesIf there were any bands which could be said to epitomize the sound of the Replay Lounge and its attendant label, Replay Records, it would have to be the two which took the stage there on Friday night, December 28. This was the kickoff for a short tour featuring Mouthbreathers and Rooftop Viglantes, and the two garage-punk acts represented our military friendly colleges and town rather well on a cold winter night.

I said it on Twitter that night, and I’ll say it again: the Replay Lounge is perhaps most exciting and fun on nights like this during winter break. The majority of the college kids head home for the holidays, and the bar feels like old home week. Despite the fact that the town offers military friendly colleges, one can never be quite certain as to who might walk in the door next. I saw folks in from both San Diego and Russia. There were even people from Kaplan University there. It lent the entire night a feeling of being at a party, not a bar. Both bands could’ve easily pointed out half the people in the crowd by name.

This familiarity gave the show looseness and made the whole thing fun. This wasn’t a performance — these bands were playing music for their friends. Rooftop took the stage first, playing as a trio, minus keyboardist Hannah Hyde. They knocked out songs like they were nothing, effortlessly rocking things with Zach and Oscar harmonizing on nearly every song. Had they one more guitar, it would’ve been like the Beatles on dexedrine: amped-up blasts of catchy pop every two and a half minutes.

Mouthbreathers are less pop, and more punch. Their songs take time to build, rather than launching into energetic flailing upon their start. Take “Die Alone,” their most recent single for Replay Records: it creeps along for the majority of its length, only to explode in the closing moments. It’s “Everybody’s Down” or “Books About Miles Davis” taken to an illogical extreme. Yet even during the slow build, the song thuds into you, over and over. It’s a herky-jerky, Devo approach to garage rock, and it makes them so much more entertaining.

Both bands have releases coming out in the next year — as Zach joked during Rooftop’s set, one of their numbers was from “one of our many unreleased albums. A 14-song LP, release date permanently tentative” — with a Mouthbreathers LP soon, as well a single on Slovenly.