Punch Drunk Tagalongs Tear Up Happy Dog at the Top of a Really Great Ohio Bill


click to enlarge Punch Drunk Tagalongs - Photos by Eric Sandy
Photos by Eric Sandy
Punch Drunk Tagalongs
With a pair of EPs from 2016, Punch Drunk Tagalongs have quickly built an aura of excitement in Cleveland's indie rock scene. We first caught their show when they opened for Rubblebucket last fall, and, impressed as we were, we decided to check them out again last weekend at Happy Dog. We recommend you keep an eye out for upcoming local shows, too.

A few songs in, the band threw down the anti-social-media anthem "Alice" (while, with tongues in cheeks, urging folks to share their stuff on social media). This tune most succinctly captures what we like best about the Tagalongs' whole deal: delicate upper-register guitar leads breathing against sweeping percussion and dynamic chord progressions and bass lines. Singer Alisha Stahnke is a Northeast Ohio original — something we're always looking for in the local circuit — and her emotionally tinged vocals bring out the best in this band's songwriting.

click to enlarge The Cadence
The Cadence
Before the Tagalongs, we were treated to The Cadence (from Columbus) and the sort-of-newly-formed King Buu (from Cleveland). This made for a hell of a bill, and we have to say that we were pleasantly surprised and delighted to have caught all three bands throwing down some heat on a cold, cold, Saturday night.

The Cadence brought a smooth, psychedelic strain of blues rock to their first show in Cleveland. Swinging between a set of powerful originals with really resonant lyrics and a cache of great covers (from John Scofield, Gary Clark Jr. and Jimi Hendrix), this trio groovily bridged the show from King Buu's manic freak-out session to the Tagalongs' raucous and borderline Isaac Brockian melodies.

A nd about King Buu: These guys came out and offered no quarter to the growing crowd hanging in front the stage. From behind a mop of hair slung low across his eyes, their singer howled and yawped frantically into the mic, as the other guys dished syncopated rhythmic madness around him. At the end of their set, they collapsed into heaps on the stage. As the band explains on their Bandcamp page: "Hold on to your butts, there's a new Buu in town."

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.