posted by Grady on Fri Mar 28, 01:23 PM
Chino Moreno, frontman extraordinaire for the Deftones, has been dabbling in some different styles of music of late - from the beautifully layered, atmospheric Palms (featuring 3/4 of Isis), to the synth-heavy, goth-inspired ✝ ✝ ✝ (Crosses) - he is continually pushing his own boundaries, and encouraging his fans to tag along on his personal journey. Hardcore Deftones fans might have a tough time wrapping their earbuds around this project, but if they truly enjoy the vocal abilities of Moreno, they will come to love their new self-titled debut. It's very reflective of artists Chino grew up listening to - Depeche Mode, Morrissey, New Order - but with his own flair and edge. Joined by Shaun Lopez (Far) on guitar/keys and Chuck Doom on drums, the three musicians meld their styles into a very dark, brooding album that is currently at the top of my favorite albums list for the year! Highlights on the album include "Bitches Brew" (the only song where Chino really lets loose a few good screams, and it's towards the end of the song), "The Epilogue" (the first single released last Nov.), "This Is A Trick" and "Thholyghst" ... but don't take my word for it, check out the band next week when they play at Neptune in the U-District! After watching their spot on the Jimmy Kimmel show a few weeks back, i'm beyond excited to see these guys live!
Enter to win tickets by e-mailing email@example.com with the subject line "Bitches Brew" and please include first & last name with entry. We'll draw a winner on 4/1. Good luck!
Don't wanna wait? Buy tickets here!
posted by Grady on Fri Mar 21, 12:05 PM
Want to check out one of the hot buzz bands from last week's SXSW spectacle? If so, then the Crocodile is the place to be, and next Thursday, is the day to go, as Seattle welcomes the Strypes - an Irish four-piece brimming with confidence after blowing minds in Austin, NY and LA, and now setting out on their debut US tour! I caught wind of these four lads last summer, and have been watching their tour schedule, waiting for them to come to the US. If you're into '60s blues, or '70s-era pub rock, then this show is a must ... oh, and did I mention not one of the four members has reached their 20th birthday yet? They've garnered praise from Sir Elton John - who said, "They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I have only amassed in my 65 years. They're just like a breath of fresh air," while appearing with the band on Chelsea Lately last year. That show was hosted by Dave Grohl, who is also a big fan of these dudes, as is Paul Weller, who strapped on his guitar and played with the Strypes when they played an in-store for Rough Trade East, London, on Record Store Day last year. Those three names alone should whet your appetite, but if you need a bit more, just check out some of their influences - Dr. Feelgood, the Yardbirds, the Undertones, the Jam and obviously the Rolling Stones. Suffice to say, don't miss this show! \
posted by Grady on Tue Mar 18, 11:09 AM
Are you in the mood for some good, ole fashioned rock music? Or are you feeling the need to spend some quality time with an up-and-coming garage-rock band? Well if either intrigues you, then I suggest you hit up Neumos on Tuesday, March 25th, and go spend that quality time with The Orwells! This bubbling band is quietly picking up steam as they roll across the states on their spring tour, mixing punk, garage and indie rock into an easily ingested cocktail that can be heard on the two EPs they released in 2013, Other Voices and Who Needs You. After wowing the UK on various tours and their appearances on Later... With Jools Holland, the quintet was hand-picked to open a handful of shows for the Arctic Monkeys recent US tour. During this stint the band had a memorable performance on The Late Show With David Letterman. Dave was so impressed with the act, he requested they do an encore - however, guitarist Matt O'Keefe broke all the strings on his guitar, so they had to decline and just watch as Letterman and Paul Schaffer marveled at their performance. So, do yourself a favor...come down to Neumos and see what all the fuss is about!
posted by Grady on Fri Mar 14, 11:33 AM
I've had the pleasure of seeing the Russian Circles each of the last few times they've graced Seattle with their unique brand of post-rock, and with that said, last Tuesday's show at Neumos was their finest to date! I could use the same comparison on their latest album, Memorial, a crushing record that ups the ante from each of their previous albums; much heavier as a whole, but consistently progressing from album to album without losing their signature sound and style.
This leg of the tour could have been called the "Trio De Force," since all three bands on the bill were trios, each bringing their own influences of heavy rock to the Emerald City – whether it was the familiar post-rock of Russian Circles, the sludge metal of Helms Alee, or the introduction of noise rock from KEN mode – each band owned their sound and their set. Winnipeg trio KEN mode was the opening act, and they didn't pussyfoot around. They came to make a name for themselves and showcase their talents. Led by brothers Jesse (vocals/guitar/bass) and Shane (drums), accompanied by bassist Andrew LaCour, the band tore through a 40-minute set that kicked off with "The Terror Pulse" from their last record, Entrench, followed by "Obeying The Iron Will…" from their 2011 release, Venerable. These guys were a high-energy band that reminded me of Young Widows and, at moments, Isis – with songs that had whisper-like vocals that built up to big crescendos before crashing down with full-force vocals and riffs!
The next trio to take the stage were of the hometown flavor, as sludge metal behemoths (and Russian Circles label mates) Helms Alee plugged into their signature Verellen amps and laid down a blistering set that eventually got the stoic crowd stirring. This was Helms Alee's second or third show at Neumos in the last month and a half, all in support of their Sargent House debut, Sleepwalking Sailors, and just like the record release show earlier in 2014, the band plowed through a nine-song set that included two cuts from their last album, Weatherhead ("Pretty As Pie" and "Ripper No Lube"), and one deep cut, "Grandfather Claws" from their 2008 release, Night Terror. Outside of those three tracks, everything else was from this year's album. The real dynamic with this group is the vocal mix, all three members contribute mightily to the lyrical direction, whether it's the more melodic styles of Dana James (bass) and Hozoji Margullis (drums), or the guttural bellows of guitarist Ben Verellen, and it's this aspect of the band that places them on a higher plane than some of their peers.
Following the pit-stirring set from the locals, it was time for the final three musicians to step up on stage and hypnotize the crowd into a zombie-like state of awe as Russian Circles churned through an epic catalog of post-rock greatness. The set was brought to life with "309," the opening track off 2011's Empros. Bleeding guitar tones and crunchy bass lines mixed with driving drums set the pace as the backdrop of the band was engulfed in plumes of smoke and floor lamps – a sight very familiar to anyone who has witnessed their shows. From there, drummer Dave Turncrantz kept things moving as they rolled into "Harper Lewis," a brooding track that meticulously builds into a fucking monster of a song … I mean when they hit the breakdown, my head was nodding right along with the ebb and flow of drums and riffs, just fucking heavy … and just like that, the song slows back down into another lull, like they're teasing you. As their set progressed, they weaved their way into some cuts off their most recent release, Memorial, - "1777," "Deficit" and "Burial" – all of which hit just a bit heavier than some of their earlier material. What was really cool to watch was the way Brian Cook (bass/guitar/keys) and Mike Sullivan (guitar) would toe-tap their effects and create layers upon layers of chords throughout their 8+ minute jams - something that seems so complex to my mind, but came across as so effortlessly to them. They also hit highlights from Geneva (playing the title track off that – featuring a chugging bass line that I absolutely love) and Station (the aforementioned "Harper Lewis") as well as a handful of tracks from Empros … and to top it off, they dove deep into their catalog and rocked out with "Carpe" from their debut EP, Enter. Their entire set was building up tension until the very last song, as they closed with "Youngblood," and once Mike Sullivan started chugging riffs into the Emperor stacks behind them, the floor started moving and bodies just started crashing into one another like waves against a shore … the tension broke and everyone let loose, head-banging and air-guitaring! Such an incredible show!
posted by Grady on Wed Jan 8, 03:12 PM
It's only fitting that my last "From The Pit" for 2013 documents another killer LOCAL show! Looking back on the past year, it all started with seeing a local rapper, Sadistik, at the Crocodile Café and now I'm closing out 2013 with a review of the deafening Sandrider show from Neumos (and a quick snippet from their follow-up FREE in-store at Easy Street Records a few nights later)!
Openers Dust Moth did a good job of warming up the show as they introduced themselves to the early entry patrons with heavy distortion, crunchy bass lines and somber vocals. Featuring familiar names from XVIII Individual Eyes, These Arms Are Snakes, Minus The Bear, Aeges, Shift and Undertow, this concoction of local heavy-hitters should pique your interest in 2014! Following their set, more local rock was on the menu, as Constant Lovers (with Ben Verellen from Helms Alee on drums) trotted out to shred the night away! Having very little knowledge of this local gem, I was immediately impressed with their ferocity and musicianship. Led by guitarist/vocalist Joel Cuplin and bassist/vocalist Gavin Tull-Esterbrook, these guys came out crushing, and wasted no time in getting everyone's juices flowing, as the first signs of a pit erupted during their first or second song. Unfortunately for everyone there, Constant Lovers had to cut their set short, as Ben announced a few songs in, "I got one more, then I'm puking," so, to avoid the clean-up and to honor their brother's request, the Lovers kicked out a blistering final song of the night before unplugging. Before the announcement though, no one would have thought Ben was sick, as he was just punishing the kit he was sitting behind. Someone (roadie, friend, band member) had to pick up and reposition his floor tom after each song …it would not stay upright!
Even with the shortened set, all in the packed house were prepared for the main course, as Sandrider took the stage! Since this was their record release show, the band played their new record, Godhead, in its entirety, only taking a few breaks between songs for stage banter … "We've got some people from ESPN here to see how loud a rock show in Seattle can be, so when we launch into 'Tides,' everyone lose their shit … oh, and go HAWKS!" which was met with raucous applause and ear-splitting cheers. The band conjured up a frenetic pit that kept things interesting for those of us up front, as we braced ourselves for the inevitable sensation of waves crashing against our backs as our guts were pressed into the lip of the stage! The beauty of Godhead is that it's equal parts thundering rock and heavy post-rock with hints of grunge peppered in, allowing listeners to rock-the-fuck-out or just throw their neck out as they bob, back-and-forth to the heavy instrumental parts. This show was everything it should have been, heavy, rockin' and most of all LOUD! For some, this experience was repeated to a smaller extent the following week, as Sandrider paid a visit to Easy Street and did their best to tear it down with a similar set! As with the Neumos show, it was a showcase of Godhead, and it was well received as the café was packed to the gills and overflowing onto California Ave, while others packed the upstairs vinyl section and the tight area around the bar … wherever they could fit to see the three-piece juggernaut lay waste to their favorite record store! The night climaxed when Sandrider closed out the set with a cover for Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song".
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