The days of psychedelia were said to have faded decades ago with the death of Jimi Hendrix, followed by the end of the Quicksilver Messenger Service, yet San Francisco’s own Comets on Fire beg to differ. Touring on their latest Sub Pop release, Blue Cathedral, the fiery comets rained incessantly through the rickety walls of Brooklyn’s Mighty Robot and yes, the sky of burning! As the crowds gathered inside, all attention was directed towards the stage, as the five raggedy heads began to gaze swaying their heads to a sound of ecliptic distortion led by front man Ethan Miller. Carrying the core across the milky way Ethan laid the shameless guitar riffs, as drummer Utrillo Kushner tied the sting to make the puppet move up and down, providing a chaos driven anthem of drum fills so infectious, Animal from The Muppets would be intimidated. What struck a chord in me the most about this performance was the fact that some metal looking guy named Noel Harmonson sat on the stage churning atmospheric verses out of an analog device, yes my metal longhaired friend, this made the evening, feeling like I was in a cavern where stalactites were falling rather than a crowded venue on the East River in New York.
What’s unique about the Comets is that they may appear to be a jam band to some, but are exactly the opposite. They encompass no blues crescendos and absolutely no experimental pretense, just pure congenial rock that follows points on a graph across the x-axis with huge jumps and falls. This is a band not to be bargained for as pop, but instead to be recognized as an anomie to the garage phenomena. Throughout the night, they hammered away on tracks such as "Brotherhood of the Harvest" and "Wild Whiskey", reminding music fans that even though Phil Spector isn’t producing the wall of sound anymore, there are some out there trying to keep it alive. During the set, there even seemed to be moments when the Comets appeared as a jazz quintet, playing loose like hipster belts, allowing each member to show their individual showmanship with solos on each instrument. Miller’s vocals are grainy like those of Steppenwolf, and tell tales of strange nights in the Santa Cruz Mountains, traveling all the way up to the peninsula of San Francisco. Music fans who enjoy the sound of Sacramento’s Hella and of course New York’s own Sonic Youth, should definitely check out Comets on Fire. Though their shows might seem scary, I have a feeling that this melting pot of psychedelic rock will soon cover the earth like Mrs. Butterworth.
Source: Kevin L. Henderson, email@example.com