Trapdoor Social, The Soft White Sixties, Zipper Club At The Satellite, Monday August 1st 2016
There is a new band in town, a trio named Zipper Club, who has already recorded an album at Eye Sky Studios in North Hollywood with producer James Iha (of the Smashing Pumpkins). They have a residency at the Satellite every Monday all August-long, and their prestigious line-up, Zipper Club features Mason James (of Cerebral Ballzy), Lissy Trullie (of Downtown, Wichita), and drummer Jahphet Landis (of TV and the Radio among other projects), had attracted quite a crowd.
Opening the evening, eco-conscious rockers Trapdoor Social played an explosive set and tunes from their upcoming album (out on August 12th). Frontman Skylar Funk (although you could say there are two frontmen in this quintet) organized the 100% solar-powered Sunstock Festival at the beginning of the summer, and they once again gave a very passionate performance, filled with youthful exuberance, catchy choruses, and multi-vocal harmonies over layered guitars and piano. These young men played with conviction and a rare forcefulness, in a Foo Fighters or Arctic Monkeys kind of way, when rock songs soar full volume, and when they started a gentler ballad, you didn’t have to wait too long before another outburst of energy would blast into your eardrums. They dedicated a song (written about a family member dying from cancer) to another person battling the same disease, however these deep thoughts didn’t tarnish their upbeat fire and fight-in-what-you-believe anthems.
The Soft White Sixties were another good surprise, a full band with a maximum R&B effect and a frontman with the presence of rock legends. Think about the Black Keys, if they had more soul and a frontman capable to have this amount of sexiness when dancing around the mic. Octavio Genera was an outstanding performer, a modern incarnation of an avalanche of rock icon images, with a style à la Travolta-in-Grease meets Freddie Mercury, a Michael Jackson moonwalking and soulful raspy vocals, this guy put the stage on fire with his tambourine and perfectly choreographed dance moves,… he was the type to gain groupies at the first day. But the Soft White Sixties already made it big in San Francisco where they are from, they probably can do the same in Los Angeles where they have recently relocated to work on their next album with producer Matt Linesch, who has worked with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They played a super energetic bluesy set with lots of poppy hooks and a real sex appeal, something which never goes out of fashion for sure.
For a new band, the Zipper Club trio seemed completely stage-ready, not only these three have had enduring previous musical experiences but they came with impressive laser effects and a giant symbol in the background to remind us their name. This may have been a sort of Prince inspiration, although their brand of indie rock could go from 80’s New Wave-y vibe and stomping drum beats (with no synth in view but the feel of it) to more post-punk-oriented songs, bringing a cold tone with very distinct girl-boy vocals, which were more dialogues than harmonies. At this point they could have sounded like the Smashing Pumpkins crossed with Postal Service as Lissy Trullie was adding her clear voice to Mason James semi morose vocals. Now if you have seen Cerebral Ballzy live, you may have expected a lot of action from a new band with one of its members, however, they stayed unaggressive all set-long, before unleashing more energy in the audience during their last song. The only single available right now is ‘Going the Distance’, but they have an forthcoming album with James Iha, called by the duo a ‘subtle mad scientist’, and the only producer they wanted to work with. Meanwhile you have 3 more chances to catch them during their August residency at the Satellite, presented by KROQ Locals Only.