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Max Pain and the Groovies, High Fidelity, Saturday January 21st, 2012

There There is a new store in my neighborhood, and it is the third one of this kind! High Fidelity (perfect name from a great movie!) is a store that sells used vinyl and organizes in-store shows. That means that, from just a few miles of my house, I can go to Vacation Vinyl, Origami Vinyl, Amoeba and now High Fidelity,… not too bad. They have been opened for a little while and I hadn’t found the time to attend one of their in-store shows yet.

I went there on Saturday night to check out Max Pain and the Groovies who were playing a late set around 10pm. The Salt Lake City quintet filled the store with their psychedelic grooves (indeed) and a real energy. Their 70s-inspired sound was going from wild and loud numbers to more contained ones, while vocalist David Johnson, under his large hat, was either shaking a tambourine or moving and jumping, unwinding the wall of sound created by fast-surfing guitars. 

Their psychedelic tunes had a touch of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s music, minus their frontman’s bad attitude of course. Wearing dark glasses or wool hats, the band played a tight and loud arena-rock-style set, while occupying the stage with a total rock’n’roll attitude, directly communicating with their public (what about this Iman!), advertising their last release‘Tortilla Gold’ and even telling jokes. 

I though that one of their songs, which was starting like a long instrumental was a cover of some old tune, butit turned out it was one of theirs, but they were bringing back a sort of nostalgic druggy pseudo-Woodstock ambiance with windy guitars and a bluesy psychedelia; they also had a modern and restless approach with mid-screamed mid-lamenting vocals sung by a frontman who was taking a sort of country accent when he was talking. 

I read that David Johnson (vocals), Dallin Smith and Shane Preece (guitars), Troy Coughlin (drums) and Jake Brimley (bass) have been making music together since they were14 years old, and since they must be in their early twenties, I guess they will be part of the Salt Lake City music scene for some time

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