Sound Scene Express

Nox Boys, Garage Rockers Become Record Store Rockers

Nox Boys
HughShows Live at Eide’s
September 13, 2014

Photos and review by Randy Jarosz

HughShows live at Eide’s wrapped up its 9th edition with a stellar line-up, quite possibly the best all year. The afternoon event featured City Steps, Nox Boys, amplifiers., and Grand Piano. HughShows is a monthly, family friendly, concert series in celebration of Hugh Twyman’s 10 years covering the Pittsburgh music scene.

Nox Boys took the Eide’s Entertainment free stage just before 2PM. Walls around the stage were covered in artwork of some of Pittsburgh’s finest musicians, drawn by Twyman himself, and Song lyrics intertwined between. That is enough to make anyone feel anxious. Most musicians are accustomed to playing dark dingy barroom’s and not so much well lit record stores. The peering eyes didn’t seem to bother the young band. Although Zack Keim, lead vocalist and guitarist, admits feeling slightly uncomfortable, but says it was pretty cool. “I always wanted to play in a record store and this was a great first experience,” tells Keim.

Don’t let the baby faced Zack Keim fool you. He may still be in high school, but he has the abilities of a seasoned veteran. His stage presence will engulf you and force you to join in, weather it be clapping, tapping or singing along. His screeching guitar is reminiscent of the band’s influences, like local 1960’s garage punk rockers Swamp Rats or even Get Hip Recording label mates the Cynics.

The group has an obvious chemistry with Zach Stadtlander on bass, Sam Berman on drums and Bob Powers on slide guitar. Stadtlander and Berman are recent high school graduates, while Powers is old enough to be the boys father, but in this case uncle as he is related to Berman.

The show leaned heavy from their early 2014 self titled debut, opening with “Take My Heart and Break It,” and continuing with “Military School.” The catchy tunes are about youth and adolescence including a song about Berman’s high school crush, “Mrs. Jackson.” Keeping the HughShows tradition alive, the guys covered the song “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” by the Stooges, for Hugh. They also featured some new tunes like “NOX STOMP,” an instrumental piece with some raunchy guitar work, “Darlene Is Gone” and “Take Me Away.” “The guys and myself feel really fresh playing new material,” says Keim.

The Nox Boys are a must see band and will no doubt be at the top of many end of year best album polls. You can see the Nox Boys this Friday, September 16 at Schenley Plaza for WYEP’s final Fridays event, opening for Saintseneca. Also be sure to check out HughShows 10.10 October 11 from 1-5 PM featuring Sleep Experiments, Casino Bulldogs, The Garment District and Andre Costello & The Cool Minors.

Nox Boys

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