Echo Park Rising roundup......so I saw a total of 5 bands. some were great, some were good and 1 was bad. Oh yeah, and I skipped Sunday...I had some shit to do in between writing this.
First, let's get the bad out of the way. Plague Vendor. I love their new album, I just wrote a review of it here http://www.speedglueandmusic.blogspot.com/2014/08/plague-vendor-free-to-eat2014.html
There really wasn't a problem with their sound or their style of music necessarily but the entire show was ruined by the cocky asshole attitude of the lead singer. He had horrible Jaggerisms, was doin the whole "throw water on the crowd and then throw the water bottle at the crowd" thing. Just way too much arrogance to handle. Also, they only played 1 song off their new(and only) album and it was the worst one on the album. So after 5 songs we walked away.
Gothic Tropic were pretty rad, the musicianship was pretty damn incredible and overall a super solid set, wouldn't mind seeing them again sometime.
Feels were also pretty awesome, caught a couple of songs in the sweatbox known as the Echo and even though I was dying I was won over by the intensity of their set and the power in their vocals...shit was tight.
Morgan Delt killed it. His set at the Echo was almost the best thing I saw all weekend. They filled the room with his murky odes to 60s psych rock. The short songs were very Kinks and Who-like and the longer ones were a nice mix of psyche rock and Krautrock very much in the vein of Can. I loved how tripped out his set was and was very happy to be able to catch him live.
Now the best act of the entire festival was easily MR.K Now I have to confess. She is a friend of mine. I had never seen her perform but was familiar with her music. I was blown away. Both musically and visually. The performance art aspect of the set was incredibly done. The juxtaposition of the red worn by Madison and the white worn by her friend Mary Helen was perfect for the music being produced...which by the way was an excellent mix of Dream Pop, experimental loop based vocal music and at times even had tinges of industrial elements in the beats propelling the music forward. Her music called to mind some of the greats...including but not limited to Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins with a little Danielle Dax thrown in there for good measure. In terms of her contemporaries she stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Julianna Barwick, Julia Holter, Geneva Jacuzzi and something like Jenny Hval as well. I will close this by saying I suggest all of you check out one of her sets as she is bringing art to the Los Angeles music community in an amazing way and it should be celebrated and recognized as something great.
So I used to listen to a lot of music in high school that happened to be on the label these guys are on, Epitaph. This label is owned by the guitarist of Bad Religion, they released all the Bad Religion stuff, Rancid, The Offspring....you know these bands were their 90s bread and butter. I grew in and out of most of these bands and for the most part Epitaph and I completely fell out with each other. They liked pop-punk, I liked Indie Rock. Then they continued liking garbage and I kept getting into weirder and weirder things. A funny thing happened the other day though. I read a review of a band that looked very promising. A group of young dudes from Whittier making a lot of racket in the underground. They had a kick ass name, the cover of the album looked awesome. I found it for cheap at Amoeba a few days later and then to my surprise I looked at the lower back right corner and saw my old friend "Epitaph" written right there. I thought "Oh Noooooo what am I getting myself into?" So I popped it on and immediately I am greeted with a blast of fast driving basically Garage Rock. Yeah it has a little bit of pop punkiness to it, mostly in attitude, but as a whole it moreso resembled The Blood Brothers fronting a kick ass modern Garage band, like something you would hear on Burger or Castle face but with a little more polish in the recording and a little more immediacy in the songwriting to help distinguish themselves. Another band that comes to mind slightly is the oft-forgotten kick ass band Skull Kontrol. They have the same psuedo rockabilly licks going at hyper speed. The makeup of this album also kind of reminds me of Mclusky or at least the feeling I got when I got into "Do Dallas". This album is loud, this album is fast, this album is sharp and it wants to kick your ass. It lasts about 20 minutes but it doesn't feel like an EP, it feels like a fully formed full length statement. I recommend these guys to anyone in the mood for something kick ass to drive to or hell, run down the street to. Who knew after almost 15 years Epitaph would get off their asses and release something for the musical world to give a shit about. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Also don't forget to catch them for free at Echo Park Rising on August 15th/16th/17th not sure what venue they are gonna be at or what time they are playing but they will be there and so will I.