Guest Review: Person L at Maxwell’s
Hoboken411 reader and contributor JJ submitted his recent review of the band Person L at Maxwell’s for your consideration!
Scream Along: Person L live @ Maxwell’s, 11/22/09
Submitted by: JJ
Ever seen a show from a (relatively) unknown band that was so good, it made you want to call all your friends and tell them, and then run home and download everything you can find? Person L is exactly that kind of “shout it from the rooftops” band to discover, and they rolled through Hoboken this past Sunday night to play a tour stop at Maxwell’s.
The band just released their second album “The Positives,” and in the bio on their Myspace page they talk about how it’s such an evolution for them, mention classic rock influences, and name drop inspirations like James Brown and Bob Dylan. Usually press-kit bio stuff like that is utter bullshit, but in this case Person L actually deliver. The music mixes bits of punk, rock, and more emotive singer/songwriter type stuff with an amazingly percussive backdrop; the band uses two drummers which adds to a funky, rolling wall of sounds that reminded me of a harder rocking Talking Heads or Tom Tom Club. However, probably the most obvious thing to note about Person L is that the frontman and primary songwriter is Kenny Vasoli, formerly of the pop-punk band The Starting Line. That band had a good following, a video in rotation on MTV and a modicum of success, but Person L is a huge step forward creatively.
Despite being on album number two, Person L still seems to be just starting out; so low key in fact that I didn’t even know they were playing in town until I saw them on the cover of The Waterfront Weekly and decided to trudge down to Maxwell’s to check ‘em out at the last minute. Boy am I glad I did. Unfortunately the crowd was small(and I mean small, really just a handful of people), but most everyone there seemed into it, clapping along when prodded and shouting out song titles. Opening number “Wooden Soldiers” started with a pulsing bass drum and hands claps, from there they ran through a set of songs from both their albums, including wild scream-along rockers(“Holy Hell”) and some more intricate tracks from the new record(like the soaring “Untitled”). Vasoli is a terrific frontman, bantering with the crowd the whole time, but it’s those dueling drummers that give the rhythm section more muscle and help set the band apart(and Maxwell’s is the perfect setting for a band like this, allowing you to really see all the action).
Listen to “Wooden Soldiers” below!
It seems that “popular music” now is ruled by auto-tune and American Idol creations and bands assembled by committee. But indies like Person L are there if you want them, and please give them credit for trying something different. I saw The Starting Line when they were just starting out, at a small show in some obscure venue like a Legion Hall or somebody’s basement, and the band took off from there. I can only hope that Person L has the same success; even though their Maxwell’s show was sparsely attended, the whole band gave 100%. Between songs Vasoli said “it feels so good up here” and it looked like he meant it.
Person L can be found at http://www.myspace.com/personl and both their albums are available for download at Emusic.com.