Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Elusively catchy psychedelic rock from The Entrance Band

I saw The Entrance Band at Bonnaroo this year, mainly because I recently picked up the band’s fourth album, “The Entrance Band,” and really enjoyed it. They are a classic power 3-piece: guitar, bass, drums. I’m guessing guitarist/singer Guy Blakeslee writes most of these songs, but I don’t really know that. The vocal melodies are unusual and sometimes fit with the guitar line like puzzle pieces, which makes me think Blakeslee does most of the writing.

I can't quite put my finger on exactly what the strong appeal is, but I really like this album.

It’s extremely difficult for three guys to create a wall of sound, and The Entrance Band does not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not sparse, there are no holes, but the songs are relatively simple and clean. There is a fair amount of distortion and reverb on the guitar, which makes it all sound bigger, but for the most part they aren’t trying to wow you with crazy technique. Rather, The Entrance Band strives for solid grooves, emotional connection, and interesting songs.

They have toured with Sonic Youth, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Cat Power and played a solid set at Bonnaroo this year. The new album is really good and you should give these 4 tracks in particular a listen. There are only live versions of these on YouTube, and some of them are good, but I am linking you to samples of the studio tracks on Amazon.

  • M.L.K. – I can’t remember the last time I heard such a heartfelt and cool song about Martin Luther King by a white dude. The guitar hook has a psychedelic / southern rock sound (think My Morning Jacket) and the lyrics are the real thing, talking about love and revolution.
  • Still Be There – This has an 80s rock throwback feel, but that’s not quite right. I like the echoing guitar and soaring vocals and the way the chorus kind of swerves unexpectedly, but fits perfectly. It’s hard to explain.
  • Lives – The vocal performance is pure and the distorted guitar finishes selling this ballad. It’s a sweet and pretty song.
  • Hourglass – This track flows pretty well for a piece in 5/4 time. Something in the meandering melody reminds me of Animal Collective but the really good garage band guitar and percussion work sounds like Weezer.

Although they played at Bonnaroo, it seems these guys are still flying under a lot of people’s radar. You should check them out. This is some quality songwriting.

UPDATE: I just saw these guys live at the Grog Shop in Cleveland and I have to say they kicked my ass. What a great show. I mentioned that I saw these guys at Bonnaroo. Seeing them at an intimate venue was much better. For example, I wasn’t aware that the bass player is a chick. She rocks too. Go see them if they come to your town. You will enjoy it.



June 30, 2010 - Posted by | Popular, Rock

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