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Sound Stage

Poseur to punk in 120 minutes

5/8/2013

Switchblade Saturdays front man Zarrie Solum.

Switchblade Saturdays front man Zarrie Solum.

Former Misfit Michale Graves performed a set at Vaudeville Mews on Thursday, May 2, and opening for him were three Iowa acts: Des Moines’ own Die Mutts, Switchblade Saturdays and Suite Little Sister out of Waterloo. The brave few who made their way through the snow down to Fourth Street were given the opportunity to check out three bands with reputations as being some of the better indie punk bands in the state.

The ladies from the ’loo led the evening off. While it’s always good manners to be gracious to your guests, the simple truth is that the best thing about Suite Little Sisters was their drum kit art. The four-piece did manage to turn out what could generously be described as a passable cover of the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb,” but the rest of the set was plagued by sloppy guitar work, so-so vocals and a bassist who — as far as I could tell — was on stage for purely decorative purposes.

Up second, Die Mutts’ set was leaps and bounds better than the opening act. Even though it was witnessed by a crowd that was smaller than the opening act started with, the Des Moines four-piece churned out a classic pop-punk set: They sprinted through the set like it was a race, and none of the songs clocked in three minutes. Somewhere Joe Queer nods his approval.

Switchblade Saturdays closed out the local portion of the evening and was easily the strongest of the three locals. Die Mutts was fun, but Switchblade’s set was polished and better executed, with front man Zarrie Solum’s excellent mic work being the revelation of the evening. It sandwiched its original work around a tongue-in-cheek Weezer cover, and the whole set was sharply executed and fun. CV

Chad Taylor is an award-winning news journalist and music writer from Des Moines.

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