Rock n’ Roll Pest Control: A night of organic pop

Brides of Obscurity

By Gary Miller

Maybe it’s a post-holiday stupor or something, but I struggled to figure out what to write about this week. But, after parsing through a dozen different kitschy themes and oddball angles, I decided to simply focus on a particular show that is happening on Friday, January 4, at the Tractor Tavern and give some MP3s to tantalize you.

The bill consists of three bands that are solidly mining what I think of as “organic pop.” There’s something earthy and comfortable about the sounds from all three. Although they are distinct in their approach from one another, they fall within what I like to think of as a musical “affinity group.” The line up is The Brides of Obscurity, Friday Mile and Central Services.

The Brides of Obscurity live, work and play in the long shadows of classic pop bands. I hear a lot of 1960s and 1970s influences their songs, as demonstrated on songs like “Sleep.” But, they have a quirk and a delivery of their own, primarily from bandleader Gary Reynolds’ vocals, lyrics and piano playing.

Brides of Obscurity – Sleep (MP3)

Friday Mile has long been a favorite of mine (in fact, they were the openers of the first show I ever produced in Seattle). The band is a living, breathing, authentic slice of emotional melody incarnate. Their song “Curtain Call” from their latest record is a good example.

Friday Mile – Curtain Call (MP3)

I have a funny relationship with Central Services, having almost been their bass player on two separate occasions. Relationships aside, these fellows churn out consistently good music that is detailed and memorable — sometimes rocking (“4 Letter Word”), sometimes delicate (“Getting Better Lately”), and always poppy.

Central Services – 4 Letter Word (MP3)

Central Services – Getting Better Lately (MP3)

This is a good bill to see if you’re interested in solid, non-ironic, melodic music and good songwriting.

Gary Miller runs the Seattle Power Pop Blog, which focuses on all things powerpop in the Pacific Northwest. SPB features album reviews, recommended shows, videos, mp3s and more.

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