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Earthy, Elemental Explorers: Mondo Drag, July 9 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2015-07-01 14:30:22

Mondo Drag

Describing the evolving musical philosophy of Mondo Drag, keyboardist/singer John Gamino said the band is learning patience: “Letting parts breathe. Kind of letting the listener ease into something. ... Letting things develop. Not rushing them along too much.”

Patience has also been required in other ways for the Oakland-based psychedelic/prog band that got its start in the Quad Cities and will return on July 9 for a show at RIBCO. (Three of the band’s five members hail from the QCs: Gamino and guitarists Nolan Girard and Jake Sheley.)

In 2011, the year after Mondo Drag’s New Rituals debut was released, the rhythm section left. The follow-up album was recorded and co-produced by Pat Stolley in the Quad Cities in late 2011 and early 2012 with Zack Anderson and Cory Berry (both of Radio Moscow), who then moved to Sweden as members of Blues Pills.

“So we didn’t have a band, essentially,” Gamino said. “We didn’t have a rhythm section. We couldn’t promote the album on tour.” And the record didn’t have a label, either. He added that the group had difficulty finding compatible musicians in the Midwest, so in April 2013 Mondo Drag set out for California.

Sophomore album Mondo Drag was finally released this year (on RidingEasy Records in the States) – three years after it was finished.


Read More About Earthy, Elemental Explorers: Mondo Drag, July 9 At RIBCO...


“We Don’t Want to Slow Down”: D.R.I., May 30 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-05-23 19:17:02

D.R.I. Photo by Colin Davis.

The seminal crossover-thrash band D.R.I. released its seventh studio album, Full Speed Ahead, in 1995, and fans hungry for an eighth album ... well, they’ll need to keep waiting.

Founding vocalist Kurt Brecht, in a recent phone interview promoting D.R.I.’s May 30 appearance at RIBCO, said the band isn’t against the idea and has made fits and starts. It recorded four demos in 2004 and released a Web-only track from those sessions. And, he added, founding guitarist Spike Cassidy “was saying something about recording the next time we’re in L.A. with the engineer that used to do our old albums when we were on Metal Blade Records.”

But, he said, if something comes from that studio time, it will likely be an EP. “Not that we couldn’t write a full album,” he said. “It’s just we’ve been so busy touring and stuff, we don’t want to stop to put out an album. ... We’re just so happy to have an unlimited amount of dates thrown at us all over the world to play, so we don’t want to slow down.” Plus, without a current record deal, the band is under no obligation to release new material – and getting a record deal or self-releasing an album would require energy that could be devoted to touring.


Read More About “We Don’T Want To Slow Down”: D.R.I., May 30 At RIBCO...


“You Cannot Let Up”: Bedroom Shrine, “No Déjà Vu”; April 5 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-04-01 22:29:45

Bedroom ShrineFor all of about six seconds, the Quad Cities band Bedroom Shrine’s new album No Déjà Vu seems content to set a mood.

The first sound on “Brown Recluse” is the whirring of a tape machine, whose unsteadiness makes the opening notes of acoustic guitar tremble plaintively.

But before that old-time folk vibe can register, the wind chimes tinkle softly, leading to some gentle feedback that builds to the simultaneous entrance (at the 19-second mark) of hand claps and electric slide guitar. Those two elements pull against each other, the hand claps establishing a pleasant groove with the acoustic guitar while the slide concisely articulates its grudge.

The instrumental is clearly meant as a table-setter, but it illustrates that Bedroom Shrine has no interest in dawdling. At all of 85 seconds, the track musically sketches out the band’s Facebook blurb of “rock ’n’ roll gets lonesome” and scurries off.

That’s the basic method of the album, whose 12 songs run a total of 32 minutes. That by itself means nothing, but it relates to both the album’s charm and its shortcoming: The vivid, sharply drawn songs leave you wanting more (good!), but they also feel like sketches that would be even better given the time and space to grow into more-mature form (less good!). It’s telling that the only two songs that run more than three minutes – “You’re Gonna Lose” and the title track – feel most like they’ve reached the ends of their natural lives.


Read More About “You Cannot Let Up”: Bedroom Shrine, “No DéJà Vu”; April 5 At RIBCO...


Complicated Laziness: The Post Mortems, “Cracked & Crooked”; March 7 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-02-27 17:29:46

Bassist and singer Devin Alexander attributes The Post Mortems’ two-instrument setup to laziness, but it’s not ordinary laziness – as there’s very little that’s typical about the Quad Cities/Iowa City band.

From its bass-and-drums-rock conceit to its gear to the seven-plus years it took to record its new album Cracked & Crooked, The Post Mortems have often traveled through bramble and brush.

But as arduous as that has often been for Alexander and drummer Al Raymond, the band’s March 7 album-release show at RIBCO should provide plenty of proof that the journey has borne fruit. The record successfully hews to The Post Mortems’ two-man core while pushing past the boundaries of what should be possible with only a traditional rhythm section – maintaining a minimalist identity while giving listeners much of they dynamic range and texture they expect from a larger outfit. And Alexander said his recently debuted live bass rig should be a revelation to longtime fans of the band.


Read More About Complicated Laziness: The Post Mortems, “Cracked & Crooked”; March 7 At RIBCO...


Multi-Sport Stars: The Communion Tour with The Weeks and The Dough Rollers, January 23 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-01-10 15:36:17

The Weeks. Photo by Emily B. Hall.

The title of The Weeks’ Dear Bo Jackson does more than name-check the famous two-sport professional athlete – an All-Pro running back in the NFL and an All-Star outfielder in Major League Baseball. It also articulates a mission statement for the Nashville-by-way-of-Mississippi band.

“Bo Jackson, as good as he was at baseball and football, he was just called a ballplayer,” said guitarist Sam Williams earlier this week. “Bo Jackson just kind of does what he wants. That’s sort of what we were going with, musically. ... I just want to be a rock band. ... I think this record has a lot of different genres. We kind of skip around a lot.”

To extend the metaphor, Williams said “the bashing rock-and-roll songs” represent The Weeks’ football career, while the slower songs are baseball. “They take a little longer to develop,” he said, but they have their share of “triples and homes runs.”

Of course, bands hate being pigeonholed, but The Weeks make good on their chutzpah. When the latest edition of the Communion tour hits the Quad Cities on January 23 (at RIBCO), the bill features a pair of throwback bands. Both The Weeks and The Dough Rollers play rock that neither needs nor warrants additional modifiers; it’s music largely out of time.


Read More About Multi-Sport Stars: The Communion Tour With The Weeks And The Dough Rollers, January 23 At RIBCO...





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