When: Fri., July 25, 9 p.m. 2014
Write what you know, the adage goes, because few of us make convincing liars. Listening to Lee Bains III and his rambunctious quartet, The Glory Fires, there's little left to doubt about his mixed Southern rock and garage ancestry, extraneous Roman numerals or not. He draws obvious inspiration from the fellow Alabamans of the Drive-By Truckers, Verbena and the Dexateens, then sweats out those influences in song.
After going to college in the north, Bains returned home and actually stepped in as the second guitarist for the reunited Dexateens. He enjoyed a two-year, two-album stint, earning his doctorate in DIY, from booking and promotion to touring and diplomacy. He ported those skills and the act's twang-punk sensibility into his own outfit for the 2012 debut, There Is a Bomb in Gilead, issued by iconic Los Angeles label Alive Records.
For May's follow-up, Dereconstructed, Bains jumped to Sub Pop. The Glory Fires didn't turn down for the eminent indie, though. Instead, producer Tim Kerr captures the band's intensity in fits. Like a $200 junkyard special, their songs rumble along in a roar, forever foretelling an explosion. The title track references Bains' heritage, offering an anthem "about taking your own damn stand in spite of those who'd define and control you." For Dereconstructed, that mindset results in grimy, wonderfully unaffected rock, bristling with distorted guitar and front-row energy.
"I've sort of been in the artistic and emotional process of focusing more and more on the work itself," Bains explains. "I am fortunate to have a pretty clear idea of how I want it to turn out. Whether or not I'm able to fully realize it is something else." With Thick Modine and Helium Moon Ceremony. —Chris Parker