Live Music Returns to Syracuse with L.R.S. Records Spring Sampler Release Show at Wunderbar

Syracuse queer bar/theater Wunderbar hosted the L.R.S. Records Spring Sampler release show. Also, they rule.

Saturday night’s L.R.S. Spring Sampler record release show at Wunderbar helped bring live music back to Syracuse, New York in a big way, with sets from Deviant Monday, Against the Giants, Underwater Bosses, and—returning to the stage with Left of the Dial’s own Caleb Coy for the first time post-quarantine—Sympathy.

Deviant Monday at Wunderbar. 📷: Mark Turley

Opening the show, Deviant Monday, the solo project of local singer/songwriter David Montanye, was the first of the four acts to joke about the anxious feeling of being back on stage, but he settled quickly into his set, which was full of sometimes dark, often funny, always a little tongue-in-cheek songs about death, demons, and the most responsible places to party (definitely not the front yard). Montayne played his contribution to the Spring Sampler, “Prior Warning,” but the highlight of his set was the sing-along friendly “Oh Shit Damn I’m a Thousandaire,” to which the crowd was more than happy to lend their voices. Find the many musical faces of Deviant Monday/David Montayne on bandcamp.

Against the Giants at Wunderbar. 📷: Ashley Hilyard

Deviant Monday was followed by Against the Giants, whose soundcheck alone was enough to justify the earplugs being handed out for free at the door. They, like Deviant Monday, were in good spirits, cracking jokes about the volume of their set and extending their good-natured sympathies to the bands who had to follow them. Their set was full of high energy alterna-pop that would be as equally at home alongside any of the bands on the Empire Records soundtrack as it was with the bands with whom Against the Giants shared the Wunderbar stage. Their song “Only Fair” was intended for a 2020 release, but folks can finally hear it on the L.R.S. Spring Sampler. You can pick up Against the Giant’s 2017 full-length album Harden Your Heart right now.

Instrumental surf rock trio, Underwater Bosses, followed Against the Giants, and refused to rest until they had everyone in the room on their feet. They played a groovy little set with songs about being down the shore (tell me you’re from Jersey without telling me you’re from Jersey), video games (well, singular video game), and, of course, their contribution to the sampler, “Surfers on the Storm.” Despite the rainy weather outside, by the time they reached the end of their set, they’d turned the room into a full-on clambake. You can pick up Underwater Bosses’ most recent release, Aqua La Vista, on Bandcamp.

Underwater Bosses at Wunderbar. 📷: John Tierney

Playling last, but, in our wholly unbiased opinion, certainly not least, Sympathy quickly shook off any quarantine dust that may have accumulated as they ripped into their set with “Lloyd Dobler,” the first track off their 2018 EP, For Everyone to See. Like the folks who played before them, Sympathy may have claimed to be feeling a little strange about being back on stage for the first time after more than a year away, but they showed up in fighting shape, burning through each of their harmony-soaked, catchy-as-hell songs, including their contribution to the L.R.S. sampler, “I Was Bored,” with the happy energy of a band who clearly missed playing for a crowd. In fact, Sympathy closed the night out with “Never Had It” from their 2019 EP, Better Company. It’s a warm-vocaled song that gets good and noodly toward the end, repeating its chorus ad infinitum and giving the band a good reason to keep the show going just a little longer. Eventually, well and noodled-out, Sympathy finished their set, ending a night of music that showcased the talent in the Syracuse music scene in general and on L.R.S. Records’ roster, in particular. Pick up Sympathy’s For Everyone to See on bandcamp. Listen to them here.

Sympathy closes out the L.R.S. Records Spring Sampler release show at Wunderbar. 📷: Brendan Hilyard

Follow L.R.S. Records on Facebook. Pick up the Spring Sampler and check out the rest of their catalog here.