Music News

CMJ Highlights from Wednesday

Written by Melissa Caruso


The Frenchkiss Records Showcase at Pianos successfully brought together several of Brooklyn’s finest acts who do their share in defending rock ‘n’ roll. Upstairs where the air hung thick, BK trio Fletcher C. Johnson cut right through with a slab of rock so good it’ll make you feel as calm and cool as 1962. “Messin’ Up My Mind” and other pop-infused rockers from their eponymous album perfectly displayed their musical palette but the one I can’t seem to quit is “Gone Down the River” with its Laurel Canyon undertones.


Turf War is an excuse for five twenty-something-year-olds to live wildly from city to city; with nothing but the flannel and denim cut-offs on their backs, and the hearty punk rock diet they were so lucky to have been reared on, running deep in their soul. Last night at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room, guitarist Ian McDonald swigged a mouthful of beer, lunged himself back like a catapult and spit it across the stage as the band dropped its first note. This is Turf War. They are rowdy boys from Atlanta and they don’t give a fuck. “Rehearse? We don’t rehearse, that’s why we can’t play any of our songs right,” laughed frontman John Robinson.

With a crowd doubled in size compared to Tuesday’s gig at Bell House, Turf War rocked the night with their flair for southern rock melodies analogous with the Atlanta scene. Crunchy guitars seethed through a tight set of Years Living Dangerously with highlights including “Cheers to the Years,” with its catchy whoaaa-oaaa chorus and the fan-requested “100 Years.” On stage, their humor and energy influence each other, cementing the marriage that is Turf War.

If you weren’t here, I feel sorry for you. Luckily Turf War plays one more set tonight, 10:00PM at Pianos for the Old Flame/A Heart Is A Spade Official Showcase (stick around for Mean Creek at 10:45). FREE SHOW. Post CMJ, you can find these Atlanta dudes opening for Diamond Rugs in their hometown at Terminal West on Halloween Eve. You’re welcome.


frontman John Robinson tackles guitarist Ian McDonald at CMJ
photo: @jose_C23

Turf War Rodeo: frontman John Robinson tackles guitarist Ian McDonald at CMJ

Photo Credit: Jose Camargo


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