Vows @ Hotel Utah 01/23/08Posted on 2008.01.29 at 11:34
Jan. 23, 2007
It was almost Thursday morning before Vows took the stage. Right away I was thrilled by their cowboy hats and tucked-in button down rancher's shirts.
The next two bands on the lineup were both from out of town. First was Feral Children from Seattle, followed by Hazelden from Los Angeles. Without spending too much time talking about these non-Bay Area bands, I think each deserves a brief mention. Feral Children are a 5 piece band with synths, guitars, drums, percussion, and bass, with two main singers. Their music is a gorgeous and fun mix of repetitive melodies over chugging hypnotic drum beats. When they howl their melodies over the clickity-clack of the drums and the ambient noise from the synth and guitar, they sound a lot like Animal Collective, but their song structures and the singers' voices are more like Arcade Fire or Modest Mouse. Really great stuff!
Hazelden is a quintessential LA rock band. They have the sculpted hairdos, the hot-topic accessorized outfits, and $10,000 in top-of-the-line equipment. Their 90s stadium rock sound followed a predictable formula of starting songs with a rock riff, followed by a happy sounding sing-song chorus, then a big guitar solo and a huge drum fill to end it… oh, and the drummer wore a headset mic!
It was almost Thursday morning before Vows took the stage. Right away I was thrilled by their cowboy hats and tucked-in button down rancher's shirts. It seemed like a nod to the Hotel Utah's western vibe, and though the hats were a bit cheeky, Vows really delivered on that classic Western rock sound. Their sound is like the Kinks' country-tinged work, with a more hard-edged psychedelic feel, but still within the boundaries laid down by bands like CSNY and the Byrds. Vows' mix of three vocalists, each taking turns leading songs and singing their homemade harmonies together, kept the set feeling fresh and lively. It really felt more like a party than a concert. A particular highlight was a song about the modern bohemians around the City; it suggested that Vows aren't putting on an act but that they're really living the West Coast country-psych-rock tradition.
Read this review on Wiretap Music for pics, links, and more!