Mar 10, 2012

Faster Pussycat - Sonar

By Bob Suehs

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FASTER PUSSYCAT

March 10, 2012

Baltimore, MD

 


It's hard to believe that Faster Pussycat started in 1986 & after being a band for 26 years there's only 4 full length records under the name Faster Pussycat while Taime's industrial side project The Newlydeads have 2 full length records to their credit.

Taime Downe isn't the most prolific artist in terms of making new music & making new records yet his fan base still comes out to support the man & his music when he tours year after year.

The current version of Faster Pussycat is comprised essentially of what was the last version of The Newlydeads minus Ace on guitar & on past tours it wasn't uncommon for Taime to toss in a Newlydeads cover or 2 although in recent years the band cut the Newlydeads material from the set in order to keep it all FP material.

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I'll admit that over the years a FP crowd can be hit or miss...the last time they played a club in Baltimore the crowd was sparse & it was a far cry from the bands Hollywood Hair band heyday which saw most shows almost always sold out!

To my surprise this particular show had around 200 people there to see the band on a Saturday night & Faster Pussycat played a set that was 90 minutes long & there was no set list because as Taime put it, "At this point in his career he doesn't need a set list because the band never sticks to it anyways & he knows all the songs anyways, he wrote the fuckers!"

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The band sans Taime took the stage just before their intro tape rolled & Danny, Ace & Chad did a 40 second jam on "God of Thunder" by KISS shortly before the FP Intro tape started.

"Jack The Bastard" was the nights opener & it was surprising to see the band kick off the set fresh with something different...their set became so stale over the past few years & this show made me respect the band once more because they kept things fresh by changing it up a bit!

"Cathouse" & "Slip of the Tongue" were 2nd & 3rd in the set & the crowd just loved the old school Pussycat because they played the old songs how they were originally written in a rock n roll style as opposed to the industrial versions Taime started to do for several years.

"Number One With A Bullet" & "Porn Star" off the bands last studio record got fan approval but it was the older ones like "Don't Change That Song", "House of Pain" & "Poison Ivy" which created a surge of energy in the crowd that you could feel throughout the entire room!

Taime is actually slimmed down from where he was several years prior & what makes him look chubby is his loose skin under his neck....it's just part of the aging process when you lose weight & I give Taime credit, he didn't come off lazy onstage, his voice sounded a bit worn from being on the road but his overall performance was great. Taime talked to the crowd and he seemed to be in good spirits. As a special treat to the "Balti-whores" as Taime put it, they played "In Denial" by The Newlydeads & even Chad commented that it was indeed a special night because they rarely do that song anymore.

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My only real dig on the set was some of Ace's solos....as a guitar player I think he's solid, he does the old classics justice but I found myself just a little annoyed with some of his lead work at times and that's just coming from my inner guitar player who knows when things sound good & when things are "iffy"....Michael Thomas was a better fit for the band & his leads were a bit cleaner than Ace's. Ace's leads can be a bit sloppy at times.

If you look at the back of Ace's arms you might see 3 circle tattoos....for comic book dorks you will know that the 3 circle tatts are actually original artwork from the old Tales From the Crypt comic book...it's the Crypt Keeper, the Vault Keeper & the witch.

"Bathroom Wall" was extended & included a jam where Danny sang a Super Suckers song, "Pretty F**ked up".

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Towards the end of the show the band started to play a song & my first thought was, "What the hell?" because I know all the Pussycat material but this song was either a brand new one or some odd jam....then the chorus kicked in & when I heard the chorus I realized, WOW, they're doing a cover of "Prime Mover" by Zodiac Mindwarp & the Love Reaction!

To my knowledge this was the first time Faster Pussycat performed this song onstage & it was definitely a nice addition to the set! The band played just about every song you would really wanna hear them play with the exception of "You're So Vain" BUT the Zodiac Mindwarp cover more than made up for it!

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"Babylon" was the nights closer & for that song Taime drenched the front row with beer and that's something he's been doing for the past few years when the band starts the last song of the night.

I can't deny that Faster Pussycat played a kick ass rock n roll show that more than made up for the various nights where the band wasn't so good...this show vindicated the bands name & if they can continue to perform shows like this every night it will put the shit talkers in their place because at this show they mixed the set up, they kept the crowd on their feet & the band sounded & played great. Everyone who left this show sang the praises of just how good Faster Pussycat were this night!