"The 9" battle of the bands victory claimed by Mogul Street Reserve, close second by Male Order Brides (with photos)

Male Order Brides [pictured] brought proto punk attitude and Rolling Stones-style blues rock swagger, the band's members decked out in punk wear and hair (the bassist sported a foot-tall mowhawk and tuxedo shirt under his leather jacket, the drummer was a dead [image-1]ringer for Sid Vicious, and the short lead singer did Joey Ramone with longish shaggy hair and bangs falling on top of his dark sunglasses). The punchy rock was fun and fiery, the foursome dynamic, and they'd drawn a huge group of fans, friends and family to support their set.


But Mogul Street Reserve turned up the heat with their marriage of driving alt rock, progressive rhythms, and punk pop-happy vocals paired with energetic stage antics and undeniable musicianship. They, too, had lured a healthy crowd to Skipper's that night and were encouraged to encore as they left the stage; they obliged, but had played all their original numbers by that point, so they pulled out a rousing rendition of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill."


In the end, the audience votes paired with the votes of the judges (myself included) gave the trio a very slim win over Male Order Brides, which took home second. Overall, 150 or so people came out to show support for the three bands that had made it to the finals despite temperatures dipping into the mid-40's. Thanks to Skipper's for always providing space heaters; there was always a place to stand and get warm.


What's in store for Mogul Street Reserve? I messaged them to find out and got this response from bassist Jack Pfiester:


[image-2]"We obviously intend to record a few new tracks at Morrisound compliments of the prize from the Magic 9 competition. Two of the songs we played that night are in consideration to be recorded at said session. Not sure when exactly we're going to get into the studio ... there is some fine tuning to be done to these tracks, but it should be sooner than later. We'd like to record three tunes if possible given the time allotted... three has been a lucky number for us as of late; especially since recently becoming a trio. We have many songs in the works... I don't think there's ever been a period where we've had nothing new to work on. That's how we keep things exciting for ourselves! Beyond recording, we're trying to tour around the Southeast... primarily Florida in the near future and expand our fanbases in other cities ... Our long term goal is to get our music to as many ears as possible, and if we could pay our bills with our music then that would be nice, too."


Photo Gallery by Tracy May


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Three preliminary rounds and one final showdown later, Mogul Street Reserve [pictured] emerged victorious, taking home first place of The 9 this past Friday night at Skipper's Smokehouse. The battle of the bands-style competition sponsored by Creative Loafing, Morrisound Studio & Recording and Magic Hat Brewery was set up to help local, already-established acts get to the next level of their musical careers with a chance to record — 10 hours of studio time at Morrisound for first, and five hours for second; third place winners were awarded with a Magic Hat prize pack. [All photos by Tracy May.]

The Trio from Dunedin kicked off the evening with heavy duty funk rock. Petite lady bassist Jen Medina wowed everyone with her lowend prowess, busting out solos and string-thumping beats, swinging her deep black dreads (which were interspersed with lime green locks), and dancing casually back and forth in front of one of the stage's space heaters in her punk rock short skirt and matching leggings. There was no doubt that the musicians were talented, their playing solid, and at one point, the jamming veered into Southern-fried Lynyrd Skynyrd "Free Bird" territory. But the overall consensus seemed to be that the inferior vocals and sometimes silly lyricism of frontman/guitarist Ben Plott distracted from the quality of the instrumentals.

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