NYC BLOWN AWAY BY THE SUBSTANCE'S SHOWMANSHIP July 14th, 2005 - Pussycat Lounge, New York City What do you get when you combine a peaceful guitar warrior with a face-melting, raw funky-ass groove (Russell Bergen), a hard-hitting, intoxicated, animalistic drummer (Pat Eckard), a psychedelic guitar guru who plays as if there is a current of electricity running through his soul (Jay "Heaven"Levin), and a balls-out, gruff-voiced, testosterone-driven powerhouse of a Cock-Rocking bassist/lead singer (Kyle Ripp)? The answer... THE SUBSTANCE. Last night, I had the rare pleasure of witnessing a top-notch performance by this crew of psychopaths. It started as a typical Thursday night downtown at the world famous Pussycat Lounge. I stopped in for a few beers and, I must admit, for a glimpse of the lovely ladies of the lounge. Little did I know, upon making my way upstairs to hear the music, I was about to metaphorically have my nuts stapled to the wall. The show began with the thick, bass-driven funk groove "Come Inside/Rump Clump". The audience was instantly mesmerized as Kyle "ripped" into his infamous opening line "I had a vision... in the heat of the night". Yes, this was to be a night of both vision and heat. The musicianship displayed by this band is unsurpassed by most. As the show progressed, the energy in that room was so intense, folks could probably feel it uptown. Other highlights included the pipe-hitting funky rock number, "Soldier Song", the rockin, reggae-influenced "After Life", as well as the unveiling of their new rip-roaring slow blues number "Defiant". The experience was truly transcendent. The combination of funk, blues, rock, and reggae that they gracefully incorporate into their repitoire displays the ambitious musical nature as well as their raw, from-the-heart sound. If Led Zeppelin, Funkadelic, and Bob Marley all had sex and gave birth to a 4-headed baby, it would be called "The Substance". Keep an eye out for their upcoming performances, you will not be disappointed. This reporter sure wasn't. -a crazed fan.