The Bouncing Souls’ annual Home For The Holidays concerts always promise to be full of surprises and this year was no exception. On the second of four nights, locals The Brigantines took the stage and played a flawless set. Up next on the bill was Molly and The Zombies, which was rumored to be any number of things from a solo set by The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon to a one off Horrible Crowes (Fallon’s side project) show. So as the band took the stage, few were surprised to see Fallon at the helm, but they could not have been prepared for what was next.
The set was made up of a few covers, but mostly original material. And original it was. Being a huge fan of Brian Fallon and everything he touches, I couldn’t help but notice he seemed more at ease during this set than any other I’ve seen him play. At the end of the final song it hit me. He did it, he played a set that no one could say sounded like Bruce Springsteen. While he was still very true to his roots and where he came from, Fallon proved that he is very capable of walking a fine line between homage and duplication. That being said, when he covers songs, as he did with The Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers,” he simply cannot be beat. The man has an ability to cover a song and make it better. As a “music aficionado (Read:music snob)” you tend to feel a little bit guilty when you like a cover better than the original. Brian bought a level of comfort and ease to the Stones classic, like the song was his own. He made it look more natural than most people look reciting their own phone numbers.
If I had to offer up a criticism on Molly and The Zombies on their first (only?) set it would be this. In a band made of Brian Fallon, Cat Popper, Brian McGee, and Randy Schrager the level of absolute talent oozing out of each individual sets a certain expectation. At times, yes, those expectations were met and exceeded. “Red Lights,” the first song the band played live, was one of those moments. With a certain country twang and a drum driven danceability, the vocal harmonies were just the icing on the cake. It was amazing. But then later in the set, theres a song only identified by the fact that Dave Hause likes it. Well, Dave Hause must be a a sucker for break up montages from ’90s teen romances movies because that’s where the rest of the set sounded like it belonged. Don’t get me wrong, the band played the songs well but the material itself felt too easy.
The band has no album out currently and there is no certainty as to whether or not there will be one. However, I would definitely buy it and encourage you to do the same. Over all, Molly and The Zombies impressed me. I’m excited to see where this band goes should it be provided the necessary time and attention.