Van Eps Album Release Party at The Crocodile

Photos and Article By: Jared Ream

If one were asked to describe this week in terms of the music heard around the city in one word.  That word would be EPIC!!  And Friday night was simply and addition to this epic week of music.  The scene… The Crocodile.  The bands, Omni, Ten Miles Wide, Devils Hunt Me Down, and Van Eps.  This was a special night for Van Eps and and for Devils Hunt Me Down.  It was the album release party for Van Eps, and an EP Release party for Devils.

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The night started with a band that had previously disbanded, but recently had came back together Omni.  To describe the sound of Omni would be best described as a cross of Sigur Ros and If These Trees Could Talk.  But with heavier pulls towards the bass.  With Will Andrews on the drums laying down the back bone of each of the songs.  It allowed bassist and keyboardist Chris Cullman to lay down fat bass grooves coming from his varied collection of basses, drake pedals, and keyboards.  All the while guitarist Patrick Allen was laying down haunting melodic notes on the guitar, that seemed to fit right down in the pocket.  Definitely was not a sound, or a band that most of the crowd was expecting. But it was the band of the night that had peoples mouth dropping on the floor, and talking about how incredibly good they sounded.

Photos of Omni can be found here at Jared Ream Photo

With Will Andrews on drums playing double duty, Ten Miles Wide took the Stage.  With the full vocal range of John Beckman in force they cranked out the tunes from their latest album The Gross.  Johns vocal range that enables him to possess a true growl with a harmony underlayment.  An ability that is not often found.  But his howl is not one of showmanship, it’s true guttural howl that makes people aware of the dark realities of life, but still shows the soft side.  This is a band that once you hear them it makes you think why have I not heard them before.  Their sound if a blend of warm notes, swanky time measures created Will Andrews that are being cradled by the soft yet aggressive bass tones from Ryan Thornes. Topped off by the precise guitar riffs of Jake Carden it makes for a mix that is sure to hit the auditory nerves of every rocker and make them want more.

Photos of Ten Miles Wide can be found here at Jared Ream Photo

Third on the line up was Devils Hunt Me Down.  With a sound that is quite uniquely their own.   A sound that has been dubbed as “Cascadian Dirt Rock from Seattle.” This quartet is able to blend a southern hangout and jam session type band with a full on metal drop kick.  All while in the same song.  On this night there were having an EP Release party.  The EP called  In Medias Res II is a 4 song EP that is the first in a set of three EP’s to be released this year by the band.  Vocals are cemented in by the throaty deep groove of Matthew Singleton Bentley who brings out a dirty rock sound that is similar to that of Clutch. With the throaty growl and harmonies of the 12 string guitar on lead gets tossed in some deep bass growls of Ian ‘Liquid Fingers’ Sides.  The blending of the bass and vocals that they are able to create gives around that confirms the reason why Devils Hunt Me Down is always in the top 5 of the local Seattle bands when a list is generated.  Completing the ensemble is Christopher Allen Bicknell on guitar and backing vocals, and Callum James Michael Dickson on the drums.  This complete quartet of “mountain men” have a sound that soul their own and one that is not to be missed.

Photos of Devils Hunt Me Down can be found here at Jared Ream Photo

Topping off the audio candy cake for the evening was Van Eps.  This was their CD release party.  The album appropriately called Vol 2. is a 7 song CD that is packed with hits from beginning to end.   With lead vocalist Matt Strutynski vocally leading the group through their songs off their album release set of originals that have a sound all their own, reminding the fans that not all rock and roll music is the same. With classic rock inspired guitar riffs brought in part by Strutynski that were cradled with modern funky rock licks provided by Brad Steenrod, and bluesy deep rhythm brought by Bobby Steenrod on bass. Putting the gluten in this whole audible treat are the meaty beats and great time signatures provided by Jake Jovanovich on drums.  A young man whose passion for the music is felt with every hit of the drum.  To say they have a high energy set is putting it mildly.  From beginning to end, it is a jet fuel octane set from song to song.  Van Eps’ energy was infectious, pulling the crowd in from the back of the room.   Topping off their set they brought up good friend and lead singer of Windowpane, Glenn Cannon up to sing leads on a cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell.  As they left the stage they felt the need to encore their set with a crowd favorite Dirty South, which the crowd went crazy for.

This was a night of music that was true treat for everyone in attendance.  Each of these bands are bands that should be on any rocks play list.  Just be careful playing them at your office.  People will wonder why you are headbanging.

Photos of Van Eps can be found here at Jared Ream Photo

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