Seattle – Last week, Los Angeles psychedelic rockers The Entrance Band played to an enthusiastic crowd at Seattle’s all-ages venue, The Vera Project. The trio’s groovy distortion, hypnotizing bass, and overall energy kept bodies swaying and heads bobbing all night.
Though the musicians of The Entrance Band have been on the scene for quite some time, it was their self-titled album released on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label back in 2009 that solidified their staying power. The Sonic Youth connection is also apropos given The Entrance Band’s sound – an intricately textured arrangement of noise, blues, surf, and alternative rock. It doesn’t hurt that bassist Paz Lenchantin (who toured with the Pixies) has Kim Gordon’s painfully cool disposition.
Playing early tracks as well as those off their 2013 Face the Sun, The Entrance Band filled The Vera Project with an aurally mesmerizing blend of eerie melodies, heavy fuzz, psychedelic lyrics, shimmering guitar, and impressive drums. Vocalist and guitarist Guy Blakeslee also captivated the audience with his theatrical stage presence and his versatile voice.
Show openers “Fire Eyes” and “Medicine” were filled with eerie, surfy “Ah” backing vocals and strong basslines. Throughout their set, drummer Derek James was a knockout, pounding his kit with joyous spirit or subtly changing the pace between songs. Blakeslee artfully utilized feedback to get a full, distorted sound when a song called for it. Though many artists have the misfortune of abusing feedback, The Entrance Band used it to full effect – without going overboard.
On “I Want You,” Blakeslee’s vocals were pure and yearning, while on “Pretty Baby” his psychedelic croon was absolutely spellbinding next to James’ hammering drums and Lenchantin’s floating bass. It had a bluesy heaviness that was utterly spellbinding.
During a lull in the set due to technical issues, The Vera Project did their best to work their production magic while Blakeslee attempted to humor the crowd with a changing-the-lightbulb joke.
The show ended with Face the Sun album closer “Night Cat,” a musically impressive juxtaposition between light and dark with the dueling bass and guitar backed by intricately understated drums. A purely instrumental tune, it was a strong ending showcasing their musical abilities. The Entrance Band was certainly – wait for it – entrancing.
Earlier in the night, Seattle’s Low Hums showed off their excellent aptitude for rock and roll with a twist – from banjos, to grunge, to psychedelic noise, to heavy Black Sabbath guitar riffs. Having caught this band (comprised of frontman Jonas Haskins, Miles Panto, Bill Patton, Chris Early, and Mike Bayer) several months ago, it was refreshing to see their musical authenticity hasn’t changed; I love these guys live. They released their album Charm back in May, and it’s a great, cohesive collection.
Another new, local band, Cabana, kicked off the night, rounding out the bill with more grungy rock and roll. Vocalist/ guitar Roan Hartzog, guitarist Nick Arthur, bassist Crystal Perez, and drummer Sean Rail were a strong opening for the evening.
With degrees in journalism and music, Caitlin’s written for Paste Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and MajoringinMusic.com. She loves cheese, laughing at GIFs of corgis, road trip sing-alongs, and connecting with people over good beer and good music.