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Preview Tue Sep 14 2010
Seattle's Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band is made up of four members who made their debut last year with a self-titled release (Dead Oceans). This year, they have followed it up with Where the Messengers Meet: twelve songs layered with assertive guitars and enthusiastic percussion that build up and up but shifts directions often enough to create a zig-zag narrative of anthems for the winter.
This sophomore album moves us song by song without falling into an exhausting repetition of rock out rock songs. While there is still repetition, which leads into a predictability at the rise of each song, the songs are still engaging because the lyrics tightly correspond to the music, like the hook of A fire only burns in your eyes at night in the opening track, "At Night," which hammers us into listening further or something.
Sometimes Benjamin Verdoes (guitar, vocals) harmonizes with a choir while his wife, Traci Eggleston-Verdoes, plays multiple instruments, and everyone likes to note that their adopted brother, Marshall Verdoes, is quite young, like fifteen, and owns the drums. Jared Price, a friend, plays bass. The snatches of images in the songs they write stir up a night time meditation that is reminiscent, to me, of qualities in a band like Land of Talk with a hint of similarity to groups that hide in the forest, like Fleet Foxes.
The live energy of MSHVB sounds promising. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 16, the band will perform at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., at 9:30pm. Tickets are only $5. 21+