Those of you lucky enough to have seen The Washdown at CBGB last time they were in NY this past CMJ know what kind of energy these guys bring from start to finish. Those of you who did not make that gig, but have since picked up their new record Yes to Everything that came out on Lookout! in February, should have been anticipating their return to the big city this past Saturday night at Rothko.
This five-piece hails from Tampa ñ but really, what does that mean? Is Tampa known for rock & roll or for the hockey team that begins the Stanley Cup finals tomorrow night for the first time ever? Since seeing them last November, it was lead singer and band founder Ryan Hess that has left a long-lasting impression. This guy has some of the best energy out there right now and gives it 100% throughout the set. Dare I say ñ he's reminiscent of Daltrey,?Morrison, Iggy or Jagger. I thought of all these folks while I watched Ryan strutting around doing his back kick and repeatedly swinging the mic by the cord as high as it could go, barely missing bass player Bryan Bates. Since hearing the record, it has been the songs as well that have made me a fan.
I was not disappointed Saturday night as they ripped through many of my favorites off the record including "Ladies and Gentlemen," "Say When" and "Confusion." They all look great, too ñ I like consistency to a look:?great hair - Heath Dupras on drums, Phil Salick on guitar and Michael Waksman who not only added to the energy, but has tremendous harmonies, as well.
Near the end of the gig, Ryan said ìAfter a short conference, we decided that we are, in fact, a band.î Oh yes ñ I would have to say after this freight train slammed through Rothko, I would very much agree.
For those in the area, the band will be back in town at North Six in Brooklyn tomorrow. The band will then be going on tour in Sweden and to England in June (the record is out in England in July.) Donít miss them ñ you will not be disappointed. And pick up the record ñ it cooks the whole way through. I must add, it has one of the best last songs on a record ever. How often do records truly end as strong as they begin? "Killing Word" is the track I am referring to, that wraps up the excellent record. Also be sure to check out the RED STRIPE 7î vinyl series that is floating around. Volume 1 is a split red vinyl 7î with Lookout! and The Washdown's ìKilling Wordî is the B-side. Gotta get your hands on this!
photos by Drew Goldberg