May 23rd, 2008
So, a friend and I decided to head over to the Greenhouse last night to check out an eye-popping lineup—for a house party, anyway. Honestly, it turned out to be the best show I’ve been to all year. Props to the Greenhouse for supporting local music in an awesome way.
Mood-rockin’, drum-crazy Seattle band Feral Children organized a show at the Central District “venue” that included their good friends in Dead Confederate, a long way from home in Athens, Georgia. Bass and drum duo Loving Thunder (fans of Karp will appreciate these guys) opened with a mighty set of progressive metal and pounding drums. Colin Roper, of Cobra High fame, plays a DEEP, synth-like base that grinds and pulsates along with the spastic drumming of Sterling Callier. The space was limited, but that didn’t limit this band from giving this performance their all, as they played about 6 or 7 songs and pretty much every single one had my head bobbin’. Roper’s high-pitched vocals were reminiscent of Ozzy, but also dampened as if the deranged Black Sabbath chief was singing from under water (due to a combination of both sound and style).
Catch them at the Comet Friday May 30th with a trio of other local hard-rock studs: Lozen, the Heavy Hearts, and the Valley. Awesome fucking lineup, if you ask me.
Next up was Dead Confederate. As I mentioned, I’d seen them once before at KEXP’s Yule Benefit in December. At the time, I was impressed with their musicianship but their sound was eerily evocative of grunge bands that came before them (i.e. Mudhoney, Smashing Pumpkins, the more contemporary The Music). Lead vocalist Hardy Morris even sounds a bit like Kurt Cobain. This time around, however, they’ve officially gained a new fan, and likely many more (there were about 100 or so people in attendance, I’d say). The quintet played a passionate array of torrential guitar rock, both melodic and dissonant at the same time. Morris screams like the most beautiful velociraptor in Nashville (that’s a compliment), while guitarist Walker Howle treats his instrument with the toughest of all loves. I was doubly impressed at how the live rendition of DC’s songs became more abstract and psychedelic—propelled nicely by the rhythm section—as their set wore on. If there ever was a wall of sound, this band created it for a small crowd willing to climb it.
You can hear them live on KEXP today at noon, and also at Sasquatch! this weekend before they head out on tour with All The Saints and Drive By Truckers through the great American frontier.
I gotta say, I really love Feral Children. The band shuns the idea of convention, and boldly gets away with it. If you haven’t listened to Second to the Last Frontier, you’re missing out on one of the more fearless and defiant records to come out of Seattle in some time. Angst-ridden, thumping, and harmonious, it’s like listening to TV on the Radio, Modest Mouse (whose “Dramamine” was covered midway through the set, validating every Feral Children reviewer up until now), and, well, feral children, all mashed together and screaming in the back woods. The dual drum kits, the punchy bass, the volatile guitar, and the smoldering synthesizer all merge into a jarring and convoluted listening experience.
The folks who made it out to this show were also treated to a few new songs that sounded excellent. The new tunes were different enough from their existing catalog but definitely had FC’s paw prints all over them. Not sure what Sarathan’s plan is for their next record, but they better decide quick, cuz the people wanna hear it.
You can further engulf yourself in the band when they play the recently downsized Neumos on the 14th of June (w/ Matt and Kim, YACHT, and No-Fi Soul Rebellion), in addition to the much anticipated Capitol Hill Block Party July 25th and 26th.
More photos after the jump.