Soundchecks: The Tarlatans, Traverser, Zach Deputy, Super Bob

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:00 AM


Stoner Prog | Traverser
Sat. Nov 24
9 p.m.
Oasis

Sometimes it’s unclear if Traverser knows what it wants to be — and those may be its most glorious moments. Formed eight years ago, the Central Florida trio mostly resembles a post-grunge act in the vein of Stone Temple Pilots or Candlebox with big guitars and snaking hard rock rhythms wrapped in a radio-ready sheen. While the band likes bottom-heavy throb, such occurrences are outnumbered by expansive post-metal passages. Simply put, sometimes they think they’re Pink Floyd and other times they’re channeling Soundgarden. Unlike Mars Volta, for whom the art outweighs the rock, Traverser definitely wants to rock, but they’re just too brainy to stay on task. They’ll be riding a chunky riff, ramping up the tension and working up a head of steam — like on the track “EMD” — when they hit the break and start drifting like a stoner in a well-stocked dispensary. The tension between these two impulses drives the music with a regimented rumble that grounds the epic soar of the arrangements. It’s a hard balance they don’t always pull off, often losing the musical plot while chasing a mood, but it’s an adventurous approach that will pay greater dividends as their game sharpens. —Chris Parker SATURDAY

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Nuwer Nu Metal | Super Bob
w/ Fulcrum and Marytre
Wed. Nov. 21
8 p.m.
$5/door,
$7/under 21
Sand Shack

Super Bob are inspired by the late ’90s rap-metal of Korn and Linkin Park. The Washington, D.C. quartet enjoy grinding breakdowns but are even better informed by industrial metal than alt-metal. The wiry rhythms possess the funky snap of the Chili Peppers shadowed by sputtering breakbeats and shrouded in the crush of guitar and synth, splitting the difference between White Zombie’s grim menace and Pitchshifter’s industrial-punk fervor. Singer Matt Santoro’s swaggering vocals are the eye of the storm, offering Anthony Keidis’ speak-sung delivery with a hip-hop flow. The influence of Rage Against the Machine can be felt in slashing hardcore tracks like “Tip the Board” and the frequent anti-corporate polemics. “I don’t want to be like you, acting like a sheep in a three-piece suit/You don’t see nothing but the bottom-line, but you can’t take it with you to the other side,” Santoro sings on “Mr.” While the targets are a little easy at times (“Popstar,” “Hollywood,” and “Cali”), they’re generally well-written and produce their share of smirks. Particularly noteworthy is “Chris Brown,” which not only gathers a cynical lesson from the singer’s exploits, but slams Charlie Sheen in the process: “Winning ain’t that hard when you been living easy, making the most of what you been given freely.” City Paper Music Award nominee Marytre opens. —Chris Parker WEDNESDAY


One-Man Jam | Zach Deputy
Wed. Nov. 21
9 p.m.
$10/advance,
$13/door
Pour House

Bearded groover Zach Deputy is back in the studio after a great time at the Bear Creek Festival in Florida, but he’s not quite sure which direction the new album will take. “Usually, we map things out, go into the studio, and knock it out,” Deputy says during a break in recording. On “Sweet Rene” off of his most recent album Another Day, Deputy sounds an awful lot like Amos Lee — albeit with a heavier guitar and bass, plus gospel-esque back-up vocals, but then on the disc’s “Make it Right,” he’s suddenly channeling Curtis Mayfield. “When I play live, I like to be more spontaneous,” Deputy says. “I’ll go from hip-hop to bluegrass to something with a little more funk. That feels more natural to me.” That sort of free-spirited attitude has carried over into the world of production. There’s no predicting Deputy’s next move — he’s thinking about putting out EPs instead of LPs from now on — but when it comes to his show at the Pour House, you can expect a funky good time. —Katie Kimsey WEDNESDAY


Americana | The Tarlatans
Sun. Nov. 25
9:30 p.m.
Free
Surf Bar

Things are going well for the Tarlatans. The foursome moved from Clemson to Charleston earlier this year, quietly sneaking onto the scene. But regionally, they’re already establishing a nice little presence, with tours of the Southeast and regular gigs in town. Their self-titled debut is truly impressive, first effort or not. From start to finish, the 10 raw and organic tracks that make up the disc are laid out brilliantly, with frontmen Ryan Williams and Taylor McClesky trading lead vocals and then coming together for some truly beautiful harmonies. The leadoff track “Isabel” has a soft and romantic quality, while the album’s standout tune, “Been Dreaming” is far more energetic. For their Surf Bar show, Williams and McClesky will perform as an acoustic duo. They plan to reunite with the rest of the band soon and hit the road. After that, they hope to begin recording a new album sometime next year. —Katie Kimsey SUNDAY

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