One of the worst parts of last year was losing Ron Asheton, The Stooges’ voodoo guitar king, the six-string conjurer who could wring a thunderous sonic squall from his instrument that impossibly and simultaneously embraced Soul, Metal and Punk with an incomprehensible physical force. One of the best parts of this year are the long overdue and righteously deserved induction of The Stooges into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the heartening continuation of Asheton's and the Stooges’ influence in the new millennium channeled through incredible young bands like Awesome Color.
To be clear, Awesome Color is not a derivative bunch of Iggy-come-latelies. The trio comes by their love of The Stooges and Detroit Rock honestly — guitarist/vocalist Derek Stanton grew up across the street from Asheton — and the Michigan natives use that raw inspiration as the launching pad for their own take on the sound.
Formed in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2005 by Stanton, bassist Michael Troutman and drummer Alison Busch, Awesome Color attracted the attention of Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, who immediately signed them to his Ecstatic Peace label. The trio’s 2006 eponymous debut drew rapturous comparisons to Fun House, but 2008’s Electric Aborigines was a slightly more expansive and textured affair.
Awesome Color’s new album, Massa Hypnos, continues in that vein with a set that exudes a more subtle Stooges vibe while digging deeper into the band’s avowed love of Detroit Garage Punk. Stanton erupts with swirling sheets of psychedelic guitar and vocals that soothe and howl in equal measure, underpinned by Busch and Troutman’s bedrock rhythm section that shifts effortlessly from sinewy to tribal to incendiary.
Awesome Color isn’t trying to emulate or tribute The Stooges — they’re just a band like The Stooges, a band that wants to be loved for its fire-breathing passion and a fearless pursuit of the edge. God bless The Stooges and their infinitely inspired children.
(Get show and venue details here.)