pronounced "strootural" according to guitarist Pat
Kennedy, and the dilapidated sign in front of their rehearsal
space is to blame for the name. This band's sound is composed
of jangly chords, a punky rhythm section, and somewhat lazily
phrased sardonic lyrics, all undercut by foot-tapping, catchy
hooks. Even with virtually no audience save a few persistent
friends, these guys rocked the Hotel Utah on a recent Thursday
as if the place were crammed full of adoring, screaming fans.
Stru Tural fed off their own energy as a band. Their cohesive
playing lifted songs such as Shangrila and Depart
Delot to pithy heights and left permanent hieroglyphics
on my eardrums.
- robust, healthy-looking young men in baggy pants - looked
like they'd skated right down Fourth Street and into the bar.
The Kennedy brothers share the vocals and crank up their guitars
together, with a disarming lack of sibling rivalry. Filtered
through fuzzy guitars, Dan Kennedy's vocals sneak up on you.
His restrained hollering and articulate lyrics played counterpoint
to the sometimes frenetic pace of the band. Pat Kennedy performed
a nice little breakdown on a few numbers, his meandering guitar
licks cementing a Pavement likeness. Drummer Jamie McGoldrick
could go deaf one day: his loud, loud playing gave the band
the edge it needed to veer from groovy to punk and back again.
It does this well on songs like Sells Last Stance, which
started out as a groovy little pop number and then ended as
a full-throttle rhyme fest - You crash, we burn, you waste,
we learn - with Dan Kennedy weightlessly pogoing on the
Utah's too-small stage.
funk riffs gave some songs a Beck-like (Hanson, not Jeff) nature.
Somewhere toward the end of the set, McGoldrick added to the
obliqueness of the music with squeaky sounds achieved by rubbing
his sticks a particular way against the cymbals. In addition
to an obvious indie-rock influence, there were bluesy moments
and punk-metal moments, displaying the diversity of the band's
skills. Stru Tural's onstage banter exhibited a jocular appreciation
of alt-rock terminology and offbeat humor. At one point, Pat
Kennedy felt inspired to say, "We're pop...also grunge.
We're trip hop...", and so forth, eliciting knowing hoots
from the sparse crowd.