The Ferocious Few Blast Out Speedy Folk-Punk, Break Lots of Guitar Strings

Categories: Last Night

The Ferocious Few
The Ferocious Few

Eugene and the 1914
The Generals
@Bottom of the Hill
June 9, 2010

Better than: The guy who plays country songs in the Civic Center BART station. (But we totally like that guy and his Stetson.)

So The Ferocious Few, one of San Francisco's most notorious up-and-coming bands (largely due to their habit of setting up and playing on city streets), are pretty darn ferocious. Singer-guitarist Francisco Fernandez arrived onstage last night in a saucy, vintage-looking suit, and started pounding his cheap acoustic so hard he broke a string -- one of the thick ones -- after only three songs. (He broke at least two more during the set, and kept a pile of spares onstage.) 

The band's folk-punk songs all ride absolutely breakneck tempos, and its two members seemed to thrive on them: Fernandez whipped, pogo'd and slammed around last night's nearly empty stage like a Latin Elvis on speed. Diminutive drummer Daniel Aguilar looked like a tiny boat being rocked by giant seas behind his minimalist drum kit. He either had the strongest legs in the world or a friend behind the mixing board, because when he stomped that that big kick, the whole room thundered. He seemed to know it, too, and saved the kick for maximum effect. A large part of the time Aguilar left the big drum alone and pounded the snare and cymbals with just his hands and a tambourine. I wonder how long his hands can keep that up.

Eugene and the 1914 partied onstage for one Ferocious Few song
​With all this energy pouring out of the band, the music got a bit rickety -- at some moments, it sounded like the whole manic train might run right off the rails. But that might just be part of the Ferocious Few's sound, and even if not, precision isn't a category that belongs on the report card for bands like this. Certainly the smallish crowd, which at times got hopping around pretty ferociously itself, didn't care if the band's fuzzy, acoustic-punk barely hung together. At the end they practically forced the sweat-drenched Fernandez and Aguilar into dishing out another barnburner.

Fernandez told the crowd to "comiserate" while he changed a string
Long Beach septet Eugene and the 1914 left the stage looking a bit empty for the Ferocious Few. Don't be fooled by the band's rather slick online presence -- they're really a bunch of hairy, country-rock hippies, with big, sunny choruses and the occasional twangy guitar flourish. 

Eugene and the 1914
Singer/guitarist Eugene began standing on stuff (drums, chairs, other band members) pretty much from the start of the set. He asked the Bottom of the Hill crowd if they liked Texas. No one said anything. (Eugene apparently likes Texas, and played a decent little song about it.) The band packed all their best songs at the front of their show and overstayed their welcome with a long, slow-burning finisher that never really got its point across. But we kinda dug the kids' sloppy stomp-rock anyway.

The Generals

The Generals, a Sacramento duo, fired off the night with straight-down-the-middle guitar rock that sounded awfully thick for just two instruments. They weren't the best two-piece band of the night, but they weren't bad either.

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