Vocalist/guitarist Mikaiah Lei, 20, and his younger brother, drummer Anaiah Lei, 17, started playing music together as the Bots when they were 12 and nine. Originally based out of Los Angeles, California, now living in London, England, the bi-racial Black Asian duo has completed two Vans Warped tours, two Afropunk Festival tours, one Coachella festival and several European festivals in addition to its own tours. The band's fourth album, Pink Palms, will be released on October 14.
Opening for Augustines at the Bowery Ballroom tonight, the Bots received respect with its dynamic, soulful, raw garage-punk set. The low-fi guitar/drums duo inevitably compared to the White Stripes and the Black Keys, but the sound was distinct enough to not become the Gray Keystripes. Jumping around the stage while playing fierce guitar leads and chords, Mikaiah found his way to the microphone, closed his eyes to sing a few bars, then returned to the hopping and strumming. Anaiah kept a steady beat while keeping an eye on his animated older brother. These were hefty jams sparked by grimey blasts of punky, rocking riffs that connected into songs. For all their youth, the Bots played an impressively innovative set.
Visit the Bots at www.thebotsband.com.