If you’re like me and have a hole in your soul that can only be filled by a night of head-banging and hazy guitar fuzz, then Bison, Bison is the band you’ve been waiting for. These Portland head-bangers play the sort of blues-infused hard rock that’s been stirring otherwise placid crowds into moshing frenzies since the first time Sabbath took the stage. But they do so with a modern edge that evokes the effect-heavy, trance-inducing influence of stoner legends such as Sleep and Kyuss. Bison, Bison released their self-titled debut last August which is full of heavy guitar tones, volcanic drumming and psychedelic bass lines that provide a track for the bluesy vocals to drive their way through the sludgy riffs. Bison, Bison is playing at Plew’s Brews on Saturday, October 27th in honor of Nofest’s Plewsapalooza. Go and enjoy an entire day of rocking North Portland bands, just don’t be surprised when you wake up with a bangover on Sunday. – Benjamin Toledo
"Uptempo" and "Pop" are by themselves two concepts that - in the business of being an indie band - can take you quite far; but if on top of that you add to the equation also comparisons to The Smiths, then the hype can get out of control. Brooklyn's Drowners have more than one similarity with Morrisey's act, and although they will surely feel belittled by such comparison, they should not, because no artists really managed to be The Smiths' worthy musical heir yet (like, for example, XTC were for The Beatles, Robin Hitchcock for Syd Barrett, and The Strokes for Lou Reed - uhm, maybe...).
The band's 3 songs debut EP features the remarkable single "Between Us Girls" (streaming below) which immediately throws us back to the days of "Meat is Murder," with the electric guitar alternating between jangly parts and arpeggios, and Welsh frontman Matt Hitt singing semi-melancholically about some girls' hair length - rather than about how big they are... The edge is slightly punkier, while the songwriting reveals an almost clinical concision (the song clocks in just under 2 minutes, with the first chorus coming in after 26" - A&R allergic to intros will dig that).
The second song, "You've Got it All Wrong," beats a similar musical path, tackling the infinite well of inspiration that (for Brits) is life at the pub, with the difference of a slower bridge, which acts as a breather for the final chorus. Final track "A Shell Across the Tongue" is the punkier of the bunch, but also the one with the least memorable melody.
This is obviously a band with enormous songwriting potential. If they'll manage to write songs as good as these and integrate their influences in a more mature and personal sound, the world can be theirs. - PDG