Yell or Trolley’s CD release leads a blockbuster hometown lineup at Live.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Singer and guitarist James Perry has a suggestion for the crowd: Revolt against the government. The local rock enthusiasts at the Lava Lounge gathered to see his band Yell or Trolley seem amenable to the option, but are more pleased when he starts performing their original “The Kid with Bugs” rather than leading them into the street. Then, after a long, majestic instrumental intro, the song grows into a catchy alt-rock number.
Perry introduces the next number by announcing that “this song is about a mermaid.” Monterey’s Yell or Trolley then launches into the toned down but expansive rocker “Katie Jane.” The song begins with guitarist John Damus wringing watery sounds from his guitar by sliding his hand across the instrument before Perry does an unexpectedly classic rock sounding guitar solo threaded through its mid-section.
Since that show this past winter, Yell or Trolley have been hard at work on their debut CD, an EP titled . While “The Kid with Bugs” and “Katie Jane” are not on the release, the seven songs on the CD feature music that, like their live show, fuses classic rock riffs to the sound of ‘90s alt-rock acts. The opening number, “Escape on a Motorbike,” is a rock song that seems to incorporate elements of the Beatles and Soundgarden. “Lady Vegas” is a blunt, almost metal tune, while “Novelty Ride” pulls in two directions with a floating, hazy guitar and a robust, busy drumbeat.
Later on, the EP seems to call for a new paradigm on the mid-tempo “Change the Guard”– singing, “this is a call to brothers in armchairs,”– which gets a reggae lilt at the halfway point before returning to rock. also includes the big arena rocker “Drawn Back.”
The local rock quartet traveled all the way down to San Diego’s Black Box Studios to record after hearing the production on the San Diego alt-rock band Transfer’s CD , which was produced by Black Box Studios owner Mario Quintero. “We liked how the drums sounded,” Perry says.
Damus says Quintero used unconventional techniques to push the band while recording. One thing the producer did was raise drummer Jimi Leonard’s cymbals higher and place his drums farther apart so he would hit his kit harder. “He made everyone stretch,” Damus says.
The group, which also includes bassist Tyson Zimmerman, recorded with one particular goal in mind. “We wanted the EP, because we thought it would give us a bigger, better tour,” Perry says.
Yell or Trolley formed a year and a half ago with a gig at the 2007 Monterey Rock and Rod Festival.
Along with Yell or Trolley, a handful of local and regional acts including Birds Fled From Me, Drone Hooligan, Alli Clarke and Reed KD will be helping the quartet celebrate the release of .
Rachel Williams is the only real member of Santa Cruz’s Birds Fled From Me. Oakland’s Drone Hooligan, composed of Monterey natives Will Bates, Sean Stillinger and Sean Sullivan, also play a variety of strange folky music.
More conventional Reed KD of Santa Cruz just returned from an impressive 50-plus-show national tour. His originals include the gentle Simon & Garfunkel folk of “Empty Bottles” and the driving indie rocker “You Can Call Me.”
Rounding out the bill is young Pacific Grove singer/songwriter Alli Clarke. She can range from the contemporary country of her “Lost in Austin” to catchy, heartfelt pop rock like “Run.”
Yell or Trolley celebrate the release of Shake the Branches 8:30pm Friday, July 4, at Monterey Live, 414 Alvarado St., Monterey. $10. 375-LIVE.