OhBree and More Shine at Kung Fu Necktie

It’s never a dull night when bands OhBree and Impressionist get together, and Wednesday evening at Kung Fu Necktie was no exception. It was a fun-filled show featuring a gold spiked bralette, fairy wings, masks, and face paint. Fortunately, this isn’t Vegas and I have lived to tell the tale of exactly what transpired on that evening of dancing and merrymaking…

OhBree perform at Kung Foo Necktie August 27, 2014

OhBree perform at Kung Fu Necktie August 27, 2014

OhBree

Reminiscent of The Extraordinaires, Man Man, and Of Montreal, OhBree fashioned itself from a group of graduates of Drexel University’s Music Industry program. Lead vocalist and keyboardist Andrew Scott, trumpeter Bob Iacono, trombonist Tyler Mack, and drummer Adam Laub all shared a house in West Philly during their upperclassman years, and saxophonist Kyle Press is a professional man of leisure who is also the frontman of Impressionist, among countless more groups. Tyler and Adam have a grindcore album coming out soon which was recorded in one day last year. Teri McMahon, another Drexel Music Industry graduate who now lives in sunny San Diego, is featured as a vocalist on the album. Featuring 101 songs in 10 minutes and 1 second and based on anime show Bleach, I can’t wait to hear the carnage in person. Plus, Kyle and Tyler made an upcoming rap album called Mowgh with the singer from Bobby and Tyler’s metal band. It’s a small world around here.

Andrew recently left his day job as a publicist for Missing Piece Group in Newark, NJ to join his girlfriend in Boston. Although such a move would tear apart most bands, these guys are going to be friends for life. Having been a part of this circle of friends for over half of a decade now, I can affectionately call them “weirdos”. All jokes aside, OhBree is composed of five seriously talented and trained musicians and it clearly shows in their songwriting and performance abilities. As humorous and as clever as some of their songs might be, don’t let the lyrics overshadow the carefully crafted harmonies and melodies that OhBree has created for your listening pleasure. “If you’re a fan of goofy pop, Jukebox the Ghost’s first album only, and weird, sad folk music”, Andrew said, “maybe you will like us, or not.” Songs “Coraline” and “Death by Broomstick”, the title track from their new album, were the highlights of the evening. Looking towards the future, the band hopes to do some new recordings at Adam’s studio Sleepless Sound as well as try out a few cover songs. Something was mentioned about a cover of The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus”, which was requested by two fans from Alaska who have never even seen the band before. Andrew is always writing new songs for the band to try out and a “hallow-weekend” tour is tentative. Perhaps a vinyl release is in order too? Stay tuned by checking out their Bandcamp where four albums are available, as well as other merchandise.

 

Impressionist

Impressionist performs at Kung Fu Necktie on August 27, 2014.

Impressionist performs at Kung Fu Necktie on August 27, 2014.

Impressionist is the brainchild of Kyle Press and merry pranksters Bob Iacono on bass, Tyler Mack on guitar, Chris Sannino on drums, Connor Przybyszewski on trombone, John Lee on violin, and Steve Davit on saxophone. Speaking about his experience working with Kyle in multiple projects, Tyler shared that Kyle is extremely passionate about this project. Demonstrating a huge amount of dedication, the group frequently has sectionals to perfect the horn and drum parts and sometimes the rhythm section has its own private rehearsal. At their record release show for their debut album Everything with Cowardice on May 29th at Boot and Saddle, they were just twenty tickets shy of selling out. Kyle reminisced during our conversation after the show how floored he was by the “sea of people” who were interested in coming out to see a psych rock band.

Since being interviewed by the Philadelphia City Paper and The Key by WXPN in May, Kyle has started working on new material and is thinking about doing an acoustic EP, among other ideas. Potentially, Impressionist may join OhBree on their short “hallow-weekend” tour this fall. Kyle has done a solo tour before, but that would be a first for the full band. Much work has been done this summer on the core of band to get it strong, but they may add another guitar player or another person to the horn section to fill out the sound even further. Furthermore, Kyle performs in a Madonna cover band called Manterial Girl and he still joins Mitch Esparza, who just got married this week, in The Love Club. As for a guiding light for the project, Kyle cites an old Why? song that featured throat singing, a skill he likes to show off at parties. A big part of the sound and concept goals are to also mix together esoteric music within some sort of rock framework. Combined with weird improvised sections and Funkadelic riffs, Impressionist is the psychedelic orchestra of your dreams.

 

Black Squares / White Islands

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Black Squares/White Islands. Image courtesy of the band’s Facebook

Coming all the way from Greensboro, North Carolina, BSWI kicked off their short east coast tour in Philadelphia with upcoming dates planned for Hartford, CT and Providence, RI next week. A three piece instrumental rock band comprising Jordan McFadden on guitar, Sean Hall on bass, and Mikey Munday on drums, the outfit serves up complex rhythms in a dynamic and progressive math rock-like style. Citing such influencers as Hella, Battles, Queens of the Stone age, and Terra Melos, BSWI manages to balance delicate melodies with expressive, driving rhythms in a way that is easily digestible by audiences. Since their formation in 2012, BSWI has released one EP named Designer Drugs, which was recorded at On Pop of the World Studios. Their first full length eponymous album was released on August 22nd from Bit Heart Records and is available for download on Bandcamp.

 

Brokehead

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Brokehead. Image courtesy of the band’s Facebook

Hailing from West Chester and Manayunk, Brokehead joined the OhBree circle of friends when they recorded their debut EP Six Minutes of Music at Sleepless Sound Studios, which was released via Bandcamp on July 15th. Lead vocalist and guitarist Kenny has known Adam Laub since freshman year of college and he went to high school with Tyler Mack. They plan to make their next EP, potentially with six new songs, at Sleepless Sound by the end of the year. The audience was treated to three new songs from the EP Wednesday night and Kenny joked that because their first EP featured 6 minutes of music, it only makes sense that their next EP should feature 6 songs of music. With an eclectic sound and influences, Brokehead cites The National, Fugazi, and mewithoutYou as a few sources of inspiration. Don’t miss their next show on September 13th in Lansdale, PA at the American Legion, with Wives, Faking, and Mishap.

Image Courtesy of OhBree’s Facebook page.

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