with Symptom

The Hustler, Indialantic, FL • June 10, 2000

It was a relatively light turn out at Melbourne’s Hustler. The club now features a greatly-improved sound system and light show, and seems to be music-friendly again, what with hosting the Supersuckers a couple of weeks ago and this night of all-over-the dial rock.

Symptom opened the set, looking like they came straight out of the cover of Please Kill Me. They rocked on guitars and drums, and pounded their keyboards so hard that those rocked, sometimes teetering precariously against destruction.

The band wore its influences on its sleeve, inserting Tubeway Army’s “Films” into their set. While Symptom had a couple of cliche moments, they were pretty fresh overall and seem to have lots of interesting ideas already.

As Nutrajet was coming on, I imagine several people were wondering where the bass player was. You could clearly see his amplifier on stage, but the stage looked like a power trio waiting for the bottom end to show up with pitchers of beer. As they started playing without him (her?), it sounded like maybe this missing bass player was somewhere in the club, playing through a wireless rig.

However, this is the result of guitarist Greg Reinel splitting his signal into guitar and bass chunkboxes, giving the silver-toned marvel he plays an amazingly full sound. Drummer Jeff Wood beats his drums like they owe him big bucks, and between the two of them they sound like a four-piece with enough enthusiasm for eight.

Nutrajet are loud with a capital “ow,” but let’s not pretend it’s not a musical racket. Heavily influenced by all manner of pop, the band never hesitates to toss in a melodic chord turn or the occasional vocal harmony.

At one point, a bolt of plasma energy similar to those found on the surface of the sun leapt between Wood’s floor tom and Reinel’s metallic six-string. Neither seemed to suffer any damage, but be forewarned: the energy flowing between these two is not something you want a direct taste of. Stand behind the yellow line, and keep hands and feet in movement at all times.

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