As far as come-ons go, it’s hard to outdo “Let’s get a house, you and me and your twelve cats,” but that’s just where the journey starts in “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me,” the wickedly funny garage blues number that opens Ron Gallo’s impressive sophomore solo set, Heavy Meta. The song plays like the Black Keys filtered through the rough-and-tumble sound of the first two White Stripes album as Gallo’s come-on turns into a not-at-all-subtle kiss-off to a stalker.
Following a stint in Philadelphia roots-rock band Toy Soldiers and a self-described “Harry Nilsson-meets-Father John Misty” solo debut, Heavy Meta is a glorious slice of high energy garage rock characterized by ramshackle tempos, nimbly played fuzzed-out guitars, and Gallo’s imminently appealing yelp. Gallo can handle the slower moments, too: “Black Market Eyes” plays as gentle psychedelia with a twinge of Jimmy Page in the prettily plucked guitars, though even it explodes into a pair of epic guitar solos, while “Can’t Stand You” has a T.Rex vibe. And speaking of “heavy meat”: just to prove how wide-ranging and well integrated his influences are, Gallo spikes a recent NoiseTrade freebie with a stomping take on the Danzig classic “Am I Demon?” that simply must be heard.
The only unfortunate thing about Gallo’s upcoming LouFest set? It’s scheduled opposite Spoon. But Gallo’s set promises such primal rock n’ roll energy, you best start planning now for when you’ll skip from one stage to the other to make sure you don’t miss out. | Jason Green
Ron Gallo plays the BMI-Tunespeak stage at LouFest at 6:00pm, Saturday, September 9th. One day festival tickets are $60; two day passes are $95.