Palehound, GWAR & Drook: Sound Check


It’s getting a little spooky around these parts. With Halloweekend, and the holiday itself, almost upon us, we’re here to lay down for you the tunes to keep your partying fresh and well soundtracked. An indie group out of Boston called Palehound will be making their way down to The Broadberry for a Monday night of chilled out introspective jams, but if that’s not your speed then the exact opposite of that will be taking place the next day on the other side of town with GWAR playing The National. Richmond’s underground rock and roll scene is pulling up for a Saturday night at The Camel full of local favorites, and speaking of Drook just dropped some new music. We’ve got it all here for you on this week’s SOUND CHECK.

If you’re a band with new music, or a listener with suggestions, then reach out to

Out of town acts to see

Monday 10/23 @ The Broadberry
Doors: 7 pm

A Tuesday night in October sounds like just as good a time as any to get your indie fix. Palehound is a group out of Boston originally formed by now front person El Kempner in 2014 as a solo project, but they have gone on to incorporate a number of other musicians over the course of the last nine years. As of now they are settled into a three-piece setup with Kempner still on guitar and vocals. Based on an indie sound to be sure, this group makes use of irreverent lyrics that mimic a very stream of conscious form often found in diaries, a style the band have deemed “journal-rock.” A laid back time for of introspective jams, if you want something chill to do with your Monday evening, then look no further.

local & regional acts to see

Saturday 10/28 @ The Camel
Doors: 8 pm

I first saw The Mitras open for Kendall Street Company at The Broadberry earlier this year, and I was front a center on the rail in a packed house. They were tight and energetic with a classic grungy sound that really seemed to hit a nerve in a public looking for angsty release. The music is high energy and manages to compete with larger bands for their scope of sound — a hard feat to achieve for a three-piece band.

Also on the bill are local hotshots Nancy Raygun. This group has been running the gamut for years now building recognition and clout, and gaining it honestly. Another three piece, Nancy Raygun have a unique sound; a deep and muddy bed meant to serve as the bedrock for harsh and honest vocals and a laser focused guitar that pierces through whenever it makes its lead appearance. With great energy and a good attitude to boot, if you haven’t seen this group now is your chance.

All of this is before even mentioning the costume contest, as it is Halloweekend, and the $100 cash prize to go along with it! It’s gonna be a good time at this haven for local music, so make your way down this Saturday.

Tuesday 10/24 @ The National
Doors: 6 pm

What is there to say about GWAR? Without spoiling anything if you are unfamiliar with these metal legends, all I can say is that their shows will leave you moister than perhaps you entered them. Their music is some high energy thrash metal with an abrasive exterior, yet the tunes themselves are fairly digestible even for the metal averse. While their studio stuff is of high quality, it is the elaborate stage performances filled costumes and special effects that the fans love them for. They simply must be seen to be believed, and if you haven’t seen them yet, then make your way to The National this Tuesday and get ready to believe.

local and regional releases

“Girls Around Me” (Single)

Taking a step back from the electric avant-garde of their last release Mr. Fisher’s Dirty Club Mix, Drook seems to be returning to the line of thought followed by their 2022 releases. Though they have always possessed a pop character, Drook began more as an indie rock band verging into shoegaze, but leaning furtherinto the pop influences as they developed; synths beds laying the groundwork for far off yet cleaner vocals and incorporating some more electronic elements such as arpeggiators. This changed with Mr. Fishers which went full on electro pop, and it was an interesting and welcome turn. Now the group have turned again to produce this strike back at a different tangent they went on last year. I will say this: they continue to surprise.

I’m not listening to anything contemporary this week, so check back next time.

Top photo courtesy of GWAR.

Andrew Bonieskie

Andrew Bonieskie

But you may call me Bones. I'm the Associate Editor of RVA Mag, and a writer and musician living in Richmond, Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in music and a minor in creative writing I have gone on to score feature and short films, released a book of poetry, an album of original music, and perform lead vocals with the band Pebbles Palace.

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