There aren't many outlets for local bands in Connecticut, but the indie-bookers of Rock Yer Socks have made themselves a consistent presence on the local-rock scene over the past two years.
The group celebrated its second anniversary Saturday with a show at American Legion Post 102 in Manchester with four bands, a bunch of cupcakes and a guy in a rabbit costume.
Despite the absence of the Connecticut Rollergirls, a key feature of last year's annivesary show, this year's version was a smoother ride all around. The bands played on time, the cake-walk (to win a vegan birthday cake) was a snap and DJs from UConn's WHUS-FM provided between-sets entertainment before finishing the night with a dance party.
New London's Fatal Film was the best band of the night. The quartet played brisk, melodic indie-rock songs, including "NLPD Blues," a song singer Matt Potter (above, right) said he wrote about being the only non-cop in a family full of police officers.
The Suicide Dolls were hampered early on by technical difficulties when Brian Albano's guitar rig cut out for a bit, but the New London trio rallied to complete a set of noisy songs riven with experimental tangents. In addition to playing deep, rumbling bass lines, Michelle Montavon (left) added vocal harmonies and sang the refrain on "Funtime Safari," her calm, detached vocal contrasting with the cacophonous drums and grinding guitar.
Vermont band Pariah Beat closed the live-music portion of the show with a hipster hoedown, complete with fiddle, accordion and hoots and hollers. Although the group has an anti-war bent that was real enough, the rootsy, salt-of-the-earth vibe felt like an affectation.
Manchester punk band Kids Called Crazy opened the show, playing a set of brawny '90s-influenced alt-rock songs.