genetics band

i tried to come up with a clever pun on the “genetics” name but they all sounded way to rick reilly-y for my liking. plus i like the one word blog titles.

this is both a show review and a band introduction on here, for me at least. the show i listened to is from just last week (7/2/14) at the aggie theatre in fort collins. i’ve only been to that town once but i had a great time- i could tell that despite being a prototypical “college town” it had a lot more to offer than just dive bars and drunk college girls (though both of those things are right up our alley here at br), and this band and venue prove that.

i heard about the band from one of their members who frequents the same drug band message board as me and which i’ll refrain from naming at this time. some basic background on them: they all grew up in the same town in michigan, went to the same high school and learned their respective instruments around the same time. after leaving college they came together in colorado, but you can read more about them in their interview in scene magazine.

in the spirit of a band from colorado, i put back about 15 silver bullets -im not that heady anymore with my craft brew selections but fuck it- and a few bowls, so this got a little wordy. and i don’t usually like going through sets or shows song by song but without seeing the band live -and even moreso because this is the first time i’ve listened to any of their material- i’m not great at articulating any specific thoughts otherwise. and i’m not gonna lie it helps me in my blissed out state to remember what i liked best.

“firefly” was a nice melodic opening, good group playing, some of the buildup has a yem feel to it and a good theme, and great first song for any show

“buttermilk” had a bass intro that for some reason reminded me of the old school sega video game “toejam and earl,” and yes that is a huge compliment… nice laid back funk groove, not trying to do too much but everyone contributing to progress the jam… at the 7 min mark they started an underwater vibe that i loved, would’ve liked to see them pursue some of the smaller jams that seemed to die out before they were fully realized and some sections definitely had an opportunity to build more than they did, but not knowing if this is a largely improvised or composed song they still jammed it really nicely

“metrognome” (with a “g” son)… the first 3 minutes has some really pretty melodies that i loved and relistened to immediately, and not to over do the phish comparisons but this section reminded me of a nice pre-peak hood jam… was not wild about the turn it took around 4 mins as it kind of harshed my listening buzz with the earlier theme but it lightened up quickly and started in another direction… would love to see them take the theme of the first 3 mins and stretch it out as far as they can, that’s a lovely piece of music

“impaired serenity” – simpler theme that relaxed me and i definitely zoned out to, not in a bad way but it was a little repetitive and definitely a song to give the band and audience a breather after a longer hosey jam… second half had a nice overall sound and some good key fills and guitar licks

“trident” – love the name of this song for starters as it reminds me of a will ferrell (mr tarkanian!) snl sketch where he’s the awful boss and is trying to hire pierce brosnan and ends up killing chris parnell (scott jurgenson- i love it!) with a trident… definitely a nice energy pickup right away with stop/start action and staccato (i think thats the term) playing… really like the chaos in the middle section- controlled but seemingly on the verge of going over the edge which i love and then into some more delicate playing, this is easily one of the most interesting tunes of the set and i could see this going even further down the rabbit hole in a live setting… this is what makes them include “prog” in their sound description

“grayson improv” could’ve been a continuation of trident, this really took off in a great direction right from the beginning and showed what these guys can do when they’re not sticking to composed sections… very nice jam, and i’d be interested to see what they thought of themselves during this one, not much else to add other than this is what i’d play for people who’ve never heard of them if i were the band

“air force” is one that i was immediately on board with because any song that begins with “drink up for fuck’s sake, it’s wednesday” has me for a fan… nice spacey intro with a great drop into the first main theme, love it right away, awesome instrumental harmonizing (is that a thing?) throughout- lot of echoes played well, changes direction several times and each switch is done on a dime and segues nicely into another really good path… nothing boring at all, awesome peak over last two minutes

with “goggle” i kind of zoned out folding laundry but i remember in the middle somewhere it got really fast and too mathrock-y for my tastes so i didn’t relisten… that’s about all i got, until that nice upbeat 30 seconds to finish it, play more of that!

“pedro” is just an awesome fucking song… prog feel right away with a lot of ideas being floated, loved the 20 second salsa dance thing they did right before the salt n pepa tease, and by the way- kudos for having a salt n pepa tease to begin with…  seeing the song length listed as 18 minutes i was curious to see how they’d play for that time period and they killed it… don’t really want to break the song down anymore because you should really just listen yourself, definitely a highlight

“whale song” – love the keys on this intro, kind of spooky and mysterious if that’s possible, really upbeat off to the races prog tune that never lost my attention in addition to having some great builds from all the members, really great second half action in this one, nice ambient fade out, spafford fans would like it a lot

“ins” – not gonna lie, i laughed looking at the song “pedro” being followed shortly after by a song called “ins”… inspector gadget teases are always appreciated… love the light and deliberate intro that was consistent for longer than i expected after the metrognome pullup; pleasantly surprised… and yet right as i typed that around 6 minutes they switched gears to a completely different theme that kind of bummed me out because the playing up to that point was delightful, not bad by any means but between this song and metrognome i don’t think they realize what they’ve created with how nice these melodies are… would like to see them maybe combine the first 3 minutes of metrognome and the first 6 minutes of this and play at least one really laid back but lovely instrumental that peaks or comes back down for a longer outro

here’s what i can say for sure: this is a very talented group of musicians who have clearly worked hard to build chemistry and write songs that can hold up in a live setting in addition to what gets them off in practice and rehearsals, and i can say without a doubt that i will see then live whenever they come remotely close to my area, and i’d recommend that anyone reading this do the same.

do not be scared by the “prog” description if that’s not your thing (it’s definitely not mine)- genetics explores several themes in every song but it’s by no means just a guitar-based shred factory, as every band member holds their own and contributes great ideas in their own right. the instrumentals are unique and while they clearly have their individual inspirations, this a group wholly comfortable in being itself.

highlights – first 3 minutes of metrognome & first 6 of ins, grayson improv, air force, pedro, whale song

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stream and download the whole show here