Wintersleep, HeyRocco
The Tin Roof
May 8

A decent crowd showed up and stuck it out late into a Sunday evening to catch local power trio HeyRocco and Montreal-based indie-rock quintet Wintersleep. Both bands displayed fine chops and effective dynamics.

Tight, confident, and bombastic, HeyRocco dazzled their audience with a guitar-driven, highly emotive set of brand-new original material. Guitarist/singer Nate Merli, bassist Chris Cool, and drummer Tanner Cooper previously played together in a blues-based rock band. They’ve obviously shed the boogie riffs and Jimmy Page solos for a more contemporary and atmospheric style. Cooper and Cool locked in on various grooves. Some were hypnotic and droning, and some were quite complex and syncopated. Merli’s high-pitched singing pierced the din of the trio while his echo-and-delay effects drenched most of his rhythm and lead guitar work.

Wintersleep’s sturdy rockstuff enjoyed a terrific mix and sounded massive in the small room. The dense texture of their dual guitars and synths provided a solid foundation for lead singer/guitarist Paul Murphy’s nasal tone and deadpan delivery. Drummer Loel Campbell got a lot of sound out of his small kit, pushing the set with precision and tasteful, Bonham-esque fills.

Highlights included a stomping rendition of the title track from the recent album, New Inheritors, a mesmerizing version of the twisted anthem “Black Camera,” and a loud set-closer during which guitarist Tim D’eon and keyboardist Jon Samuel swapped instruments.