Words By Jenny Talbot, Photos by Adrianna Hilborn
From the bottom floor of the long standing Finnegan’s Wake pub in Philadelphia came a surprisingly thunderous sound that ripped through Spring Garden Street during the Liberty Music Festival this past Friday.
Like a Black Flag concert in 1984 providing nothing but volatile energy and in-your-face vocals, The Riverside Odds shook up the night like no other at the festival consisting of over 15 other bands that night. In between gulps of PBR, lead singer RW Griswold floored the crowd with his rough and heavy vocals that were the vehicle to lyrics consisting of fighting, drinking, and of course, an infamous wrestler named The Iron Sheik.
Johnny Ramone reincarnate guitarist Matt Muscarella railed the set with speed rock meets punk rock riffs while paired with newly added lead guitarist Dan Beswick’s thrashing licks for a solidly layered effect from a five piece punk band. “Philly Skyline” was the band’s highlight song which invited audience participation amongst its infectious chorus with zero restraint.
Drummer Darren Walbridge bangs harder and faster than most bands in the scene right now, but unlike any of them his mysteriously expressionless face keeps the fan on their toes wondering exactly when and if he will break composure within the vigorous fourteen song set.
Covering a greatly unexpected classic hit from legendary punk icons The Dwarves, The Riverside Odds showed that they can not only write their own hit songs but deliver others’ just as well. Bassist Tim Griswold was impressive with thick bass lines that clearly laid the foundation of the songs but played with just as much vivacity as the rest of the crew.
The show came to an end with the solid hitting song “Shotgun” which was just that: an explosive bang consisting of unpredictable rhythm changes and guitar chords. Overall, this band will leave its impact on you as both exhaustingly satisfying AND ardently unstable, which is what punk is all about anyways.
You can catch The Riverside Odds at The Rock Lounge in Telford on September 19th, and look for their debut EP which will be out in September!