* Mitch Gettman now has his first full-length album We Are the Mad Ones out in every way imaginable. The 18-year-old songwriter celebrated the CD release of his album Friday, Dec. 16 at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. Gettman led his band through a polished, sophisticated romp through Gettman’s songs. The set was brisk and direct, with Gettman’s voice and guitar on display. Gettman has already learned to play to the strengths of his abilities. There’s no overreaching attempts at flashiness, just a young songwriter quickly learning how to hone his craft. Meanwhile, Snake Island! used their opening set as a continued announcement of their rapidly-developing raw power. The band now hits on touchstones like the Doors, the Gun Club and 13th Floor Elevators in a way that easily conveys both knowledge and their own innate creative streak within those influences. The closest contemporary may just be Austin, Tex.’s Black Angels, though Snake Island! throbs with elements of surf, rockabilly and other biker-rock moves that the Angels just drone away from. The Big Deep also appeared in the polishing phase with a host of new songs, all slung in a multi-layered instrumentation that pointed the band’s sound more towards folk-influenced indie rock than Americana roots rocking.

* Both Gettman openers now have their own release shows on the horizon. Snake Island are up first, with a vinyl-and-digital-download only release to celebrate. The band hosts their release show, just as 2011 gives way to 2012. The house show release party takes place New Year’s Eve Saturday, Dec. 31st at the Sandbox, 2406 Leavenworth. The band will be joined by Peace of Sh*t, Sun Settings, Baby Tears, Cheap Furs and more. The show is free if an attendee brings two non-perishable food items to donate to the Food Bank for the Heartland. Otherwise, the event costs $3 for those 21-years-old and up or $5 for those younger than 21. Well into 2012, the Big Deep will get in on the album release action with a show Friday, January 20 at the Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. The band’s release, Roman Empire, is included with $10 show admission. Blue Bird, Landing on the Moon and Bad Country are also on the bill.

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