Though often overlooked by the downtown music crowd, The Wormhole is one of the best places to see live music in Savannah. Stylistically eclectic, acoustically superior and significantly cheaper at the bar, this club is more spacious than any of the Congress Street spots and has an excellent sound system. Nearly every night of the week one can find live music or stand-up comedy, and on some nights, both.
Friday night at The Wormhole saw the return of one of Savannah’s veteran rock acts, the formidable IAMSOUND. Though the group has gone through some line-up changes over the years, creative fountainhead Chris Horton continues to crank out new material and pursue his sound. The band can be heard sporadically on Rock 106.1’s local music show “Underexposed,” yet the band’s previous recordings don’t do the current group justice. Formerly known for their borderline-metal brand of aggressive hard rock music, Horton has focused more on layering of textures than volume for the new round of material, and we were excited to see what the group had to offer. After roughly six months of inactivity, anticipation was high for Friday night.
The group did not disappoint. Horton, for the first time in recent memory, took on the role of vocalist, and a three guitar assault accented his percussive yet melodic singing. The songs are catchy but not contrived, memorable and groovy while retaining aggression. A tinge of Megadeth-style sarcastic lyrics, some straight AIC diminished grunge licks, and a relentless rhythm section ruled the set, with hints of sparkling dynamics and thick wall of guitar layers. Though IAMSOUND only showcased a short 20-odd minute set, it was clear to the audience that more good things are to come.
Following IAMSOUND was solo singer and songwriter Dendera Bloodbath. Her powerful yet vulnerable voice evoked Joni Mitchell, albeit a huskier mezzo version, and her skillful authoharp strumming was accented by melodic and cosmic sounds, courtesy of a small keyboard which she played simultaneously. Having been unfamiliar with Dendera Bloodbath prior to the show, it was a welcome surprise to see someone taking a very traditional instrument like the autoharp and juxtaposing it with the ultramodern synthesizer sound machine. A really haunting performer.
Also on the bill were local Americana group Whiskey Wednesday. Their signature blend of Appalachian folk, gypsy jazz and stomp music is always sure to rile the crowd up, and this evening was no exception. We had to leave before The Landmines played, which I was disappointed about as their reputation as a fun live band preceded them. The disappointment, however, was momentary, as there is always something interesting happening on the stage of The Wormhole. Thanks to Paul Burba for taking photos.