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MusicUnderFire | February 12, 2016

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Show Review: Morning After Girls, The Vandelles

Tuesday night’s showcase at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly’s Fishtown brought back some older beats from groups with new albums this year.  Despite temperatures that reached the mid-90s in the city during the day, the music added a refreshing end to the day.

The Vandelles


For a group bent on bringing the wrath of their set to the audience, The Vandelles do just that with a distorted grunge reminiscent of the Ramones.  Playing in front of a crew of photographers and plaid-shirted patrons amid the mood lighting of the small tunnel of Kung Fu Necktie, the fivesome slipped a wavily classic UK Stones-esque version through the crackling speakers.

While Jason Schwartz’ high-chord wailing and overall rock bravado drew in a great deal of the mood lighting, the high arms swings of drummer Suzanne Pagliorola stole the show.  Even though the high hats or heavy bass didn’t really get beyond amazement, her movements caught eyes and the thickly strewn poundings garnered unusual attention.

Yes, Schwartz broke a strong mid set, which led to a seemingly spontaneous jump to a cover, but when a fuzzed-out vocal parade from Christo Buffam and Lisha Nadkarni get almost nixed by a drummer, something is up.  In fact, despite my ears still buzzing, the drums and cover of darkness the band played under intrigued me even more to check out where the group is going and what they have done.

Note: Bring earplugs to the show if you go.

Morning After Girls


The Morning After Girls‘ latest album Alone cries for distance and space.  While Kung Fu Necktie enables groups with an unassuming bass and dual guitarists to still perform, it wasn’t enough for this bunch of pin-point artists to really display what they could have.

Seeing a group with multiple vocalists and guitars led me to believe their record wouldn’t come across cleanly in this venue, yet the true talent of the men on stage came forth when harmony emitted from the previously blaring amps.  When Morning After Girls needed to stay light on the electric, they did, and the fingle bassist Anthony Johnson exploited his talent when rhythm required it.  Alone came across better than the album’s 7.5 rating might dictate.  The whole act was built to be lively, yet the menagerie of sounds – chest clapping tambourines, serenely touched keyboards, tapping drum hats and fading guitar strings – could not be denied.

The whole set was stunning from start to finish, although a larger group should pick up these guys since a stadium-type setting would benefit them.  Some transitional work needed tweaking, but for a group I only learned about a few months ago, the album only begins to justify how amazing they are growing from show to show.



hey there, i think you got the vandelles names mixed up there...Jason is the guitarist who broke a string mid-set, lol


thanks for catching that!


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