By Emily Van Malden
Members of Jack’s Mannequin couldn’t stay away from the College since their last appearance in November. With a slightly edgier sound, Bikelock — the side project of three Jack’s members — took the Rathskeller stage on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
The band is a trio featuring drummer Jay McMillan, bassist and back-up vocalist Mike “The Kid” Wagner and lead vocalist Bobby Anderson, who played a red trapezoid-shaped electric guitar.
“I was expecting them to have the same light, airy pop and piano sound that many of Jack’s Mannequin’s songs have,” said freshman English major Craig Ismaili. “But Bikelock sounded more grungy, bluesy and ’90s sounding, similar to the Black Keys.”
Formed about a month before Jack’s Mannequin, Bikelock decided to draw their musical roots from a host of backgrounds and moods, from dark and angry metal to a more positive alternative rock.
Although McMillan described their sound as “melodic yet emphatic,” he later admitted that the band was just “trying to be loud and rock and roll.”
Whatever their style, Bikelock kept audience attention throughout, from the ear-splitting chords of “Go To Hell” and “Low Wound,” to a song Anderson called “Gimme My Money Because I Know You Have It.”
This song started out deceptively soft, luring listeners into a false sense of comfort. Bikelock then proceeded to destroy by blasting out one last nasty riff on the guitar, strum on the bass and crash on the drums.
“I knew that there would be no piano, so without (Andrew McMahon’s trademark) the other guys in the band got to come though as individual musicians, not just members of a band” said Adam Braun, English and secondary education double major and an avid fan of both Jack’s Mannequin and Bikelock. “(Their music) is solid. It just puts me in a good place.”
Sophomore early childhood education and psychology double major Chase Destierro, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the opening band, Gianna’s Sweet Debut, also enjoyed Bikelock’s sound.
“It was Rock and Roll, which has always been in style, even if not everyone has been aware of it,” he said.
In their opening performance Gianna’s Sweet Debut couldn’t stand still as sophomore interactive multimedia major (and Signal photo assistant) Matthew Mance danced around and Destierro jumped off the drum set at the end of “Sidewalk Chalk.”
Gianna’s Sweet Debut was preceded by Slim Buzzard — a band performing together as a group for the first time ever. Guitarist Taylor Carney and lead singer and pianist Mike Costello categorized their new sound as Blues Rock.
Between the three different kinds of sounds at the Rat, audience members were kept at the edge of their seats. But then again, this is not surprising since no one goes to a rock concert just to sit comfortably.