Posted by: Dan – Aug 22, 2012
Last hump night at The Republic was one for the books. Radio Rubber Room presented City Problems, a poignantly harmonized acoustic duo, who warmed the crowd for The Dream Machine and the beloved Milkstains.
City Problems, comprised of guitarists Kevin Loonan and Kyle McKenna, has a torturingly familiar sound that I labored to find a match for. There's a wisp of Elliott Smith influence present, but the arrangement of their crisp harmonies was the puzzling part. I arrived at the conclusion that they utilize some of the note-pairing I remember hearing from the Indigo Girls. And that's not a bad thing. Indigo Girls are freaking sweet. City Problems performed a handful of original songs as a duo, however I could easily hear them backed by a full band. As Loonan expressed after the set, their fledgling project will hopefully soon be magnified by drums, bass and electrics. Look out for City Problems and check their facebook page for upcoming dates.
The crowd welcomed the supreme gritty rock of The Milkstains with open arms. They played with a well-deserved confidence that seems to grow with each show, especially following a glorifying spread in RVA Magazine and a week long tour spanning TN, NC, GA and AL. Frontman John Sizemore now embraces the microphone with gusto, which immensely alters the Stains' live performace. As if Raphael Katchinoff needs any more enthusiasm, his psychosis-inducing drums get wilder every time I hear them. The Milkstains have an unknown energy that I doubt they will ever lose. The city should start using them as a sustainable power source.
This Wednesday at The Republic, Radio Rubber Room presents The Dream Machine and Floodwall, a rising four-piece ambient rock outfit that I'm looking forward to learning a bit more about. The action starts at 10pm, be there!
Words by Dan Mulrooney, Photos by Tyler M. Conta