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Fireball Ministry, live in Hollywood

Live Review

Venue: The Viper Room, Hollwood

Support: Spirit In The Room

Thought to be missing in action, LA perennials Fireball Ministry return with a new bass player, and prove that you can't keep a good band down. Here's five reasons why The Viper Room doesn't suck any more.

The Right Amount Of Wrong...

One expects a certain degree of decadence and sleaze from a place that was once a mobster hangout frequented by the likes of Bugsy Siegel. In his day it would have been jazz bands on stage, but tonight there is a gentleman with tattooed hands and hangover hair, all unwashed and unkempt, wearing a suit that suggests he just got out of prison. He sings for the aptly named Spirit In The Room, and he looks like he might break something, accidentally knock his own teeth out, or possibly hit one of his band-mates. This is a good thing.

You Heard It Here First

Or possibly not since there's nothing particularly new about what Spirit In The Room are doing. Describing themselves as 'lizard rock', the band infuse the grime and swagger of The Cramps with dashes of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and undertones of Joy Division and perhaps even Sisters Of Mercy. The point is that they do it well, and they do it convincingly. There's some Nick Cave and The Birthday Party in there, too, and the slower tunes sound like they might have STDs or drug habits, or, at the very least, wake up not knowing where they are. This is also a good thing.

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