August 1, 2012
Maybe you’ve already heard the excellent new album by Archie Powell & the Exports, as it came out back at the beginning of May, and they’ve been getting astounding press and done some touring. However, if you haven’t, allow me to fill you in.
Great Ideas in Action is the sophomore full-length from Chicago’s coolest party animals. These boys caught my attention early on for issuing some of the smartest pop-rock concoctions I’d ever had the pleasure of hearing. Lead singer/guitarist Archie Powell was blessed with a voice perfect for crooning out snarky pop lyrics — his nasal tone delivers the words with an audible sneer and when he belts, he belts with reckless abandon. With his band of Exports — bassist Adam, keyboardist Ryan and drummer RJ — Archie taps into a magic formula that is not being matched much in today’s indie rock.
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March 19, 2012
Most of you guys probably don’t know much about Wenatchee, Wash., but it’s where I live, and have lived nearly continuously for almost 15 years. Every so often, awesome things happen here musically. Not sure if you’ve heard of these dudes Ghost Power!!! yet, but you ought to. Not sure if you know about this great Seattle band SHIM, but some of those dudes actually got their start here. So this town isn’t quite a big deal, but it’s no slouch.
Some self-professed “middle-aged guys” who “play loud music” might pique your interests. They’re called The Felts and they’ve got a pretty rockin’ Self-Titled EP you should check out. At seven songs, this album is a hefty EP of melodic hard rock that’s a generous reminder of the ’90s Seattle scene. Reminiscent of some of my old Excursion Records favorites from back in the day, The Felts deliver monster wails and crunchy guitar chords fit for a dimly lit barroom.
The Felts seem to cover the rock spectrum, with equal doses of grunge, prog, metal and punk filtered into the Self-Titled EP. On the tune “Loosely Felt,” you hear a little bit of everything. The hair band fan in me is even fully satisfied by the electric guitars on this beast.
It’s not every day the world gets a chance to experience Wenatchee’s occasional awesomeness, so keep an eye on these guys when they blow up your speakers with more truly boss tunes. Sometimes it just takes some “middle-aged” guys to remind us how to properly rock.
October 8, 2011
I cannot begin to explain to you how much I miss the Pacific Northwest music scene. The bands that have caught my attention have held it in their capable grasp for over 20 years now. From my early teens, with bands such as Small who were my first live show in Wenatchee, Wash. I was entranced in their dirty sound and beautiful, meaningful lyrics. It was the summer I turned 14. My cousin Mia worked at a skate shop called the Wango Tango and I spent alot of time hanging out in there, meeting people, listening to music and of course skating. I still own the CD I bought at that show and listen to it all the time. The sound just works for me and it still does to this day. So I apologize now for this Seattle fluff piece, bear with me. You’ll thank me later.
Nowadays, I still watch the Seattle music scene closely even though I live 2,316 miles away. I am thankful for bloggers like Nik Christofferson “theseattlerockguy” that are in the trenches damn near every night writing and shooting video of these amazing emerging bands in the Seattle area. Just to name a couple, and I think they deserve a bit of your time, He Whose Ox Is Gored and Serial Hawk. (I am actually working on interviews with these two great bands here soon, so stay tuned.)
But back to the premise. By chance, I heard of a band hitting the Seattle scene with such force and an amazing sound, I had to share them with you. Wildildlife. I sat back and listened to their song “Give In To Live” so many times I lost track of the time. The opening seconds of the song are like nails on a chalkboard, just grinding at your senses. The opening riff opens up and leaves you wondering just what the hell these guys are doing. Then hits you right in the face with amazing ’80s glam metal-style guitar playing, the double bass rolls through you and moves the song into overdrive. You’ll instantly grow a mullet and drive a beat-up Camaro. Summer may be over, but with a sound like this, it shouldn’t be. I want to walk into a sleazy bar, play these guys on the Jukebox, drink Miller High Life, play pool and fight. It is just that macho and I’m the furthest thing from this kind of machismo. I’m a down-to-earth environmental worker who loves Patsy Cline and snuggling. Listening to these three guys is like a testosterone shot to the brain. Hard and fast, with just enough grit to make you think things are just about to fall apart. But they never do and the music keeps you hanging on for more.