August 5th, 2012 @ Crocodile Cafe, Seattle
Zechs Marquise took the stage and put on one of those kinds sets that you are sure the headlining band can’t surpass. The five-piece instrumental outfit from El Paso, Texas took no notice of the heat and headbanged and jammed their way through an explosive set with little bits of jazz, lots of psych, and a whole dumpton of rock and roll. The band, which features three individuals with the last name of Rodriguez-Lopez (of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez aka At the Drive In/The Mars Volta fame), play a style of music that requires too many hyphens to really define correctly. But at any rate, it is safe to say at a lot of times it sounds like a less poetic and less self-centered and pretentious version of The Mars Volta. The songs aren’t as complex, but they are just as prone to sporadic and spastic rhythmic and melodic breakdowns. The result isn’t so much music to dance to, but music to be confused by, and then a spectacle to appreciate.
The guys of Fang Island are good touring buddies for Zechs Marquise, though. They saw the response, and they followed it up with their own blasting set. It was a set full of smiles that spawned anything and everything you could wish to hear off of the band’s past two full-lengths. The beauty of Fang Island resides in these smiles, as members of the crowd spontaneously started high-fiving each other instead of doing the common clap along to the beat. People were dancing and sweating like there was no tomorrow despite the fact that tomorrow was Monday – because for that hour in time, tomorrow wasn’t Monday. Fang Island is like the Andrew W.K. for kids – all the party and less of the insistence on booze or bizarre behavior for it. More like getting drunk off of a good bottle of red wine than a 40 oz. of Beast Ice. That is their beauty – a sheer unabashed love for the shamefully fun aspects of pop music, only with as much rock and roll thrown into is as possible.