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Organic Androids at Bo’s Bar By Trey Brooks Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Organic Androids at Bo’s Bar By Trey Brooks

Music fans tend to define their tastes with specific genres. But even the most dedicated fans are willing to listen to another genre from time to time. Evidence of this can be seen in the multitude of genre-crossing artists that have graced the airwaves since rock and roll first combined blues, jazz, and swing. There’s a reason why groups like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, and Sublime have all had massive success both critically and commercially. Organic Androids fit the mold of a cross-genre band, and Friday night I got to experience their take on music first hand.

Organic Androids takes the Linkin Park approach of having two vocalists, one a singer and one a rapper. This dynamic allows them to transition between styles within the same song and allows for a more progressive approach than you would hear from most rap-rock and nu metal groups. Their sound was very polished, but they still retained a raw style that kept the show from coming across as too rehearsed. In a way, their name describes their sound almost perfectly: Organic (raw) Androids (machine-like precision).

I wish I could describe their sound in more detail, but they only played a few originals. Almost the entire first half of the set was covers. Usually this would get on my nerves, but the list of covers they pulled out was like a trip through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I remember songs from the Doors, Outkast, the Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead, Sublime, Stevie Wonder, Al Green (which I have to point out was the best version of “Let’s Stay Together” I have ever heard), My Morning Jacket, and Phish. It was quite a treat to hear such an array of covers in place of the typical country version of “Gin and Juice” that has become so popular with bar bands these days.

The band was hampered slightly by some sound issues. Most of the band sounded just fine, but some audience members including myself had trouble hearing hip-hop vocalist Justin Hammonds during some of his verses. Hammonds is a very talented MC, and has worked with other local bands over the past few years. I was interested in seeing how he would work with a more rock-oriented group, but unfortunately that was hard to gauge. I don’t know if his microphone wasn’t turned up loud enough or if it was a more serious equipment issue, but it did distract from his performance a bit. There was also a slight problem with the guitars drowning out the keys, especially noticeable during a cover of the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” which is known for its complex key section. However, these problems did not mar the overall energetic and spot-on performance.

I would also like to note that Bo’s provided the perfect venue for this show. Their stage is bigger than most in Temerson Square, and the dance area was not cramped or intruding on pool table and bar space. Business was good for them that night, but despite the number of people it never felt crowded.

Organic Androids provided great Friday night entertainment and should be complimented on bringing a different edge to the bar scene in Tuscaloosa. Will it take them any further? I would need to hear more originals before I answer that question. But for now I will enjoy the music, and I encourage you to do the same at their next local gig.

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