Live Review: Slender Means @ Bumbershoot 9/5

Sunday 5pm
EMP Sky Church

If free-roaming cattle under all the stars in the universe ever is your thing you could do worse than head over to right now and check out the local lads’ contribution to your imminent joy.

But read this first. Frontman Josh Dawson heads up this Seattle five-piece committed to the art of falsetto indie pop and straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Clad in black jeans, a light blue shirt, and black and gray checkered vans, Josh navigates the band’s course through music’s waters with driving riffs, complex drumbeats, and a sharp, feel-good stomp.

“This is some Seattle history right here” Josh says while gesturing to the graphics whirling in circles on the wall-sized screen behind him and across the room. “Jimi Hendrix first played right here on this stage, right?” he jokes.

‘Telepathic Lovesick Heart’ follows with it’s no-nonsense guitar intro. This is straight-forward rock with the sensitivity of Death Cab, rainy Manchester-esque yearning-for-more vocals, and the melodic stylings of The Strokes if they cleaned up a bit and tucked their shirts in.

Josh goes on to intone praise for Northwest musical visionary David Bazan. “I just saw him before coming over here” he adds. The band then play ‘Pioneers’ and right from the start of the reassuringly jangly and well-crafted guitar intro you know you’re in very safe musical hands. Slender Means know how to deliver simply great upbeat indie-pop songs and have a fantastic time doing it.

High: ‘These Magic Wonderful Times’ – the song title says it all. From the soul-tinged keyboard intro to the falsetto vocals that tie all corners of the melody together, this group definitely know how to indie-rock, pop, and roll.

Low: When Josh says the outlandish décor and lights of the Sky Church venue remind him of his home, but then a moment later he says he’s joking. For a second, that was the coolest home ever.

In a Tweet: Slender Means Business #FreeAwesomeAlbumTitles #You’reWelcome

Did you catch the Slender Means show at Bumbershoot this year? What impact did it have on you, in no less than 2,000 words? Let KEXP know in the Comments section below!

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