I absolutely adore L’Escogriffe. It’s cavernous, and its brick walls are all painted different colors. Red lights shine down upon the tiny, low, low stage. The stage is so small that most bands have to place an amp or two on the windowsill behind them.
The four-piece, KOCMOHABT, opened their set with “Satellite.” Heavy sludge filled the bar. The music was deafening, and those on the terrace began to filter in. Their music was made up of down strokes on a seven-string guitar mixed with loud ride cymbal hits. Behind them, projected on a screen, played videos of lightning crashing and atomic bombs going off, filling my vision. The band themselves didn’t move much, so I was grateful for the fitting visuals. During “La Terre,” Gyslain showed off some rhythmic mastery when he altered the bass line during a quick run-down. It was pretty wicked. They played three looooong songs, and it was a good way to get people hyped.
White Canvas Sky were the most straightforward band of the night. While their riffs were intricate at times, their hooks and melodies were catchy. Steve Burgess impressed me with his vocal versatility. He had a smooth, controlled croon at times, then during “Friends With Benefits,” he unleashed enough dirt to build a sandcastle. “Mind Spent” was old-time funk. Gideon was Yellin on lead guitar. I enjoyed the way he manipulated the wah pedal. Some guitar players will just hammer on it, but not him. He used a deft touch while Andrew Mullahoo was slapping a five-string bass. They dropped a heavy bridge that sounded outta place until it wasn’t. It added a very cool dimension to their overall very cool set. They did an encore too. Normally I’m against this if you’re not the headliner, but the crowd, pretty sizable for a Sunday night, was jonesing for it. They cried, and their cries were heard. They’ve got an EP planned in September with Kevin Jardine of Slaves On Dope. Sounds rad.
So, on the stage was a drum kit, a cello, and a mother fucking eight-string bass. I had a feeling I’d be in for a treat and You Bred Raptors? delivered. They started their set with “Orchid,” which consisted of Peat on the bass using his loop pedal. It was ambient, then filling, then funk. They switched up genres throughout the songs with ease. Each song had multiple iterations that seemed to go nowhere, but came together nicely in the end.
They were dressed in all-green uniforms and wearing carnival masks from Venice. Each song they changed masks, and looked like serial killers throughout their set. I should know, I witnessed first-hand the slaughter of each and every one of their songs. Whether it was Bryan Wilson’s cello lead in “Ice 9,” or the impressive cover of “Orion”, these three filled the stage with a resounding, pounding sound. It was classical and demure; it was sharp songwriting and funky riffs. Andrew, from White Canvas Sky, yelled in my ear, “These guys are too good.” I concurred. They’re playing a show in Manhattan on the 5th of July with Stu Hamm. Do yourself a favor. Buy a ticket.
With by far the coolest band name of the night, Kids Eat Crayons hit the stage. They were all hardcore punk and jazz. Quite the combination, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy myself. It was their last show, as drummer and maestro D.W. Lee is moving away for a bit. During “Winston Contemplates a Biology Lesson,” they were the epitome of tightness. No matter what hits were thrown at them, they were on time. It was weird and abrasive and off the walls; it defied the fourth dimension.
Let’s not forget Joshua Furhman and Sam Davis being beasts on the tenor and alto saxophones, respectively. They dueled, they soloed, and they melodically drifted into my heart. This was especially evident in their encore during “Winston on Urban Planning.” It was a genre-bending track that had the whole crowd and the band in the groove. Also, I loved the guitar solo by Angelo Zarra; his notes were simple, but built masterpieces.
It was a great way to end a set.
Lastly, I wanna give a shout out to Wild Wolf Productions. Everything ran smoothly at the show, and they had a good crowd that came out. From top to bottom, it was awesome.
Written by Aaron Deck
Photography by Stacy Basque
*edited by Kate Erickson