Carolyne Mas, who appeared at the Bayou last night, could contribute significant energies to rock 'n' roll -- if she could find a distinctive style to augment her raucus and raspy vocal rampages. Too often, from her opening song "Hold On," one felt the vivid shadows of Bruce Springsteen, Phil Lynott and Graham Parker dancing in the background. On other material, this wouldn't grate as much as it does in Mas' riff-rooted originals.
As a singer, Mas is on safer ground.She pumps in Tina Turner-like R&B adrenalin into rock formulas, bouncing around the stage, pushing her bank out of its lethargy. Her delivery was as unpredictable as the band's progressions were obvious. Mas is still new to rock 'n' roll; it'll be worth holding on for more distinctive songs along the lines of "Thomas Dunson's Revenge," "Stay True" and a powerful "Quote Goodby Quote".
Local rockers 4 Out of 5 Doctors opened the show with as solid a set of power pop as the Bayou has heard from any of its visiting national acts. If their debut album, coming out in mid-September, contains the same blend of hook-laden, intricately constructed and cleverly delivered rockers, it won't be long before the band returns as a headliner. And in bassist and lead singer Cal Everett, the Doctors have the charismatic focal point that will bring in rock fans as well as fans of music. Like all doctors, their rates will keep getting higher and higher.