Enter the Ten Eleven. To newcomers, it looks like Santa’s hellhole where blood-red paint stains the walls and Christmas lights illuminate the stage where the band usually plays. Tonight Ghost Lapse has set up in the darkness on the floor while a small crowd gathers around them. Before they play a note, the young power trio looks ready to channel the spirit of Buddy Holly, looking all the rage, circa 1957.
The first song, “Water Balloonz,” begins the psych-surf-rock tidal wave. Drummer Josh Turner, 18, has a basic set up, but a dexterous technique and driven style. Guitar player Ben Baxley, 20, uses the floor to his advantage as he strums a fuzzy garage rock sound. The vocals are muffled and hard to hear, but it seems to go well with the band’s reserved persona. Bass player Nathan Barrera, 18, plays shyly with minimal movement. Their sound is dreamlike and hazy, in the vein of the Crystal Stilts, Deerhoof, and Wavves. After the song ends, Baxley thanks everyone for coming out. Someone from the crowd belts out “I can’t hear!” Baxley remarks, “Are you drunk?”
“Brother Satan” begins with a prominent bass line reminiscent of Joy Division. Both Baxley and Barrera turn their backs to the crowd and face Turner throughout the song. Though plenty of heads nod in the crowd, it seems like some are waiting in anticipation as they stand toe tapping with their arms folded across their chests. Again someone yells out “Louder!” Baxley retorts, “You have a full bladder?” Baxley then coaxes the crowd to come closer as the band dives into the Hunx and His Punx cover “Cruising,” resulting in a few sways and more nods to the enjoyable pop-rock song. The song “CB4” (a nod to an early ’90s movie starring Chris Rock) has a slow start but picks up thanks to enlivened playing by Barrera and ends in chaotic surge of noisy cymbals and surf-rock feedback.
As they ended with “Ghost Slaps,” a nostalgic instrumental complete with ’60s sounding garage rock guitar, the members’ initial awkwardness faded away and they finally loosen up. Baxley and Barrera hunch and sway over their guitars while Turner rocks out on the drums, pushing up his glasses every so often to keep them from falling off. The resonating sound of their instruments slowly fading out concludes the set on a haunting note — perfect for a band named Ghost Lapse.
Sat, Oct 23
1011 Ave. B