World War, Fresh Hearts, Doppelganger @ Union Hall, 12/1/10

With three top-notch bands playing, this past Wednesday evening at Union Hall in Park Slope crescendoed from soulful acoustic tunes, through pop rock, all the way to a heavy blast of rock and roll.

World War kicked off the evening with strummy acoustic guitar and Biet Simkin’s fantastic vocals. Simkin sounded incredible, with the power of Brandi Carlile, the sexy soulfulness of Cat Power and a tiny hint of the ethereal Cranberries. With songs ranging from folk and alt-country to syth-backed pop and even a dust bowl ballad-like tune thrown in, the crowd gathered to listen seemed to thoroughly enjoy the set.

“Not Married Anymore,” a slow, dark tune that vaguely reminded me of “Falling” from the film Once, was a definite highlight as it showcased Simkin’s vocals and acoustic guitar playing.

Next up was the newly-formed band Fresh Hearts. This was pop rock at its most fun. Frontman Robert Cordell had a great engaging energy as he bounced around the stage and even out into the audience occasionally. Even though this was only the band’s fourth gig, they still seemed pretty tight and like they were having a good time. All clearly in command of their instruments, guitarist/vocalist and Rebecca Rosoff, drummer Daniel Muhlenberg, and bassist Rick McNerny sounded great performing catchy, pop rock tunes.

The last to perform was New York-based band Doppelganger, who absolutely killed. The level of tightness and proficiently these three musicians exhibited was truly impressive. Cast in deep red stage lights, the band played heavy, but still incredibly catchy and unique rock and roll tunes with a late-70’s punk edge. The best song of the evening (which 24 hours later I still can’t get out of my head) was “Breaks My Head.” The electric guitar was sharp, the drums pounding, and the vocals very rock-and-roll. This is definitely a band to look out for. Their next gig here in New York is at Pianos on December 20th.

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About Julie Kocsis

Julie Kocsis is Associate Editor and a contributing writer of ShortAndSweetNYC.com. Living in Brooklyn, she works for Penguin Random House during the day and writes about rock bands at night. In addition to her many band interviews as well as album and concert reviews that have been published on ShortAndSweetNYC.com, she has also been published on The Huffington Post, Brooklyn Exposed and the Brooklyn Rail.
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