Monday evening, within the intimate setting that is The Tree Bar in Columbus, MOBILE HOME headlined a three-band bill for a small, but enthusiastic crowd.
Local musician Jonathan Burgess opened the show with a melodic acoustic set that was well-received. Brooklyn resident Modest Midas played a wonderful set of music that could easily fit on any Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.
Then it was time for some bible belt devil music to carry us home.
The garage country trio of MOBILE HOME is comprised of Kyle Lewis Martin (guitar/vocals), Jess Kauffman (bass/vocals) and Aaron Michael Butler (drums) played a 12-song set that rocked the very roots of the establishment’s namesake.
They came out of the gate with the traditional Green Rocky Road, albeit an amped-up version. The uptempo rocker had all in attendance raring to go.
The upbeat Dope followed, with Martin and Kauffman trading vocal duties and harmonizing very well. “I got my game face on…” was a sign of things to come.
They blasted a punked-up version of their tune Central Time that had the adrenaline flowing with an in-your-face attitude. Once again, Martin and Kauffman went back-and-forth with the lyrics.
At this point, the band got down-and-dirty with Break, a midtempo grinder that showed some raw emotion from the diminutive Kauffman on vocals.
What followed could best be described as the trio channeling their inner Ramones, as they rocked the crowd with Music for Morning Aftermath. There was a hint of Southern Culture on the Skids with the song’s playfulness.
“We’re going surfing,” announced Kauffman, as they launched into the surf rock laden Side Show. Kauffman’s vocals carried an almost ghoulish vibe that meshed very well with Martin’s surf vibe. Transitioning directly into Crohn’s Zone, Butler tattooed a heavy drum beat that paired nicely with the melodic, yet sexy-sounding lyrics. They carried this into a short, but heavy jam.
With very little time spent between songs, Pistol assaulted our ears in a way that let us know the band is serious about leaving the audience with a favorable impression. Kauffman’s raw emotion was on full display as Butler was getting revved-up on the skins. At one point, he looked like Animal from the Muppets, his arms flailing and hat flying off to the side.
They turned Rihanna’s Stay into a full-on rocker, making it their own in the process. Martin and Kauffman once again traded vocal duties, adding a wonderful twist to the lyrics.
“This song is about the future,” said Kauffman, before the band launched into Time Traveling. There were slight undertones of Orange Goblin in the trio’s sound, the heaviness showing they know how to get a crowd pumped-up.
Covering Johnny Cash’s 13, but more in the Danzig style, Martin’s guitar took on an evil sound to accompany Kauffman’s excellent vocals. Butler carried the beat, setting the tone of the number.
Before we knew what hit us, they were launching into their final tune of the night. The as-yet unreleased Drank the Blood is a pedal to the floor, full-on rocker, with a devil may care attitude thrown-in for good measure.
The sparse, but appreciative crowd showed their approval of the band’s version of bible belt devil music, wanting more. Their 2015 self-titled EP does not do justice to the energy that display in a live setting, although it does show the band’s evolving sound.
And that, my friends, is what makes this band fire on all eight cylinders. You get an hour’s worth of music in 35 minutes. It worked for the Ramones, and it works for MOBILE HOME.
If you’re into punk, rockabilly, garage country or just want your faces rocked off, this is the band for you. Keep the devil horns held high!
Ed. – MOBILE HOME were recent guests on The Cat Club Podcast. Listen HERE
- Green Rocky Road (traditional)
- Central Time
- Music for Morning Aftermath
- Side Show
- Crohn’s Zone
- Stay (Rihanna cover)
- Time Traveling
- 13 (Johnny Cash cover)
- Drank the Blood (unreleased song)
MOBILE HOME – Pistol