In a two day span of time, I somehow managed to see 8 bands that were all fairly different from one another. I consider this a privilege and thought-provoking feat, especially considering the overcrowded world of the "music industry" today. The Echo hosted the eclectic mix of music featuring Wreck and Reference, Sannhet, and Self Defense Family. At the time of my writing this review, Sannhet, and Self Defense Family are on the last few days of their touring together, while Wreck and Reference only appeared at the LA show as well as at Bottom of the Hill gig in San Francisco.
My awareness of Wreck and Reference always brings me back to a chaotic time of transition at the start of my brief time of living in San Francisco. I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Great American Music Hall (side note: one of my all-time favorite venues in California) with Deafheaven. As I had started to become even more interested in the noisier world of underground music, Wreck and Reference was a welcome discovery and seeing them a few nights ago was even better than expected.
The dissonant, static nature of the various electronics utilized by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Felix Skinner paired with intense yet disciplined rhythms from drummer/vocalist Ignat Frege took hold of the audience immediately. Most, if not all, releases by Wreck and Reference can be found through The Flenser or their Bandcamp.
Next in the lineup was Sannhet, and it couldn't have been a better transition. With Sannhet being the primary instrumental band on the bill, their mix of harsh sounds and soaring melodies presented a great way of showing just how balanced this eclectic lineup is. There is more to be found in Sannhet's music through experience than me rambling on, but I need to encourage you to see them live whether or not you hear their recorded material prior to the show.
There may be all too many "instrumental rock" bands partly due to the fame of bands like Explosions in the Sky and to a certain degree Sigur Rós; Sannhet is a band that can't be missed. I'd personally love to hear Sannhet possibly collaborate with David Lynch; the hypnotic and somewhat disorienting nature of the visuals they utilize live reminded me of the intriguing and haunting discomfort that I find in watching Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive.
Finally, it was time for Self Defense to take the stage. I don't think there is any routine way to describe a Self Defense Family set, but I will say that I feel like Pat Kindlon and the various musicians who make Self Defense do a great service to the "world" of hardcore/punk music.
I spoke with Pat briefly after the set and thanked him for his continued way questioning himself and then turning the questions outward. The next release for Self Defense Family, Have You Considered Punk Music, is a prime example of that and I personally find his mix of dark humor along with introspection to be refreshing.
Not a band for "rock show" antics, we heard an hour-long set of more recent songs from Self Defense including the new album's title track, and a personal favorite of mine, "Talia," from the record Heaven Is Earth.
Have You Considered Punk Music is set for release on June 29 and can be pre-ordered from Run for Cover Records.
Self Defense Family and Sannhet tour dates:
06.14 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
06.16 - Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen