WINNERS Cask Mouse's tightly-knit fiddle n' folk-stomp whipped Thursday into a drunken frenzy.
Twenty-three bands entered T. T.'s own private Thunderdome last week, and only eight bands remain after six Rock 'n' Roll Rumble nights of preliminary-round musical throwdowns. Since the Rumble is now more regarded as a live-music festival than an actual competition, here's some love for the breakout performers in addition to the "winners."
THE WINNERS CIRCLE| The Rationales' home-cooked rock took Night 1, but Garvy J's polished, gravel-pit glam set the following evening put the preliminary week on the map. Ghosts of Jupiter brought a mind-melt of '70s classic rock to the forefront of a diverse Night 3, while Cask Mouse's tightly-knit fiddle n' folk-stomp whipped Thursday into a drunken frenzy. Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck's calculated Southern rock touches were enough for a Friday-night victory, and the metal mayhem of Motherboar nearly turned the Rumble into rubble with the loudest and rowdiest set of the week. Turns out you can mosh in Cambridge.
THE WILD CARDS | Thick Shakes' Farfisa organ fuzz purr and vertical spin-cycle pop racket got them advanced to Round 2, and any fears that Sherman Burns's menacing rock assault on the senses would be too erratic for victory were quickly assuaged come Saturday night.
THE BREAKOUTS| The best part of the Rumble is seeing a band for the first time, and Somerville hardcore punk dudes Tin Thistles said hello to a packed T.T.'s by aurally bitchslapping it in the grillpiece. Parlour Bells added a slick, moody firestorm of post-Hedwig neo-glam to the prelims and were defined by the commanding presence of guitarist Nate Leavitt, and right after, the Fagettes were a beautiful trainwreck of druggy, '60s-smoked West Coast pop. On Night 3, Letterday and the Susan Constant proved that catchier-than-Wes-Welker power-pop is alive and well, and as expected, Streight Angular closed out the prelims on Saturday with a dousing of neon day-glo, blacklight, and scream-along garage rock anthemia.
THE ROCK 'N' ROLL RUMBLE SEMIFINALS| T.T. the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge | April 12 + 13 @ 8:30 pm | 18+ | $10 | 617.492.0082