Everest- Mercury Lounge, June 4
Tripwire, by Miguel Banuelos
Too many acts lean so hard on their influences that instead of being influenced, they end up parodying their heroes. The offense becomes even more pronounced when the genre, scene, act or style being imitated is held dear by so many. Unfortunately this has been the case with many so called alt-country/Americana acts of late. The wardrobes, accents, and earmarks are all there, but most tend to miss the musical point. The fact that Everest don't miss the point makes their live experience that much more surprising and enjoyable. Once the five-piece hit their stride in the live setting, you know that there's more here than plaid shirts and a twang. Not shying away from volume or smoking amps, the members of Everest bring to their live set as much of a country sensibility as they do rock and roll noise. Everest understands why Neil Young toured with Sonic Youth, why a Wilco live show is more "rocking" than rocking chair, and how American rock and roll starts and ends with a healthy dose of guitar. Even with their roots rock leanings, their real understanding of that era of 60s and 70s American rock and country is obviously better than most of their peers. Their drums, stomp, reverb and layering prove that Everest know more than the Burrito Brothers or Skip Spence catalog and they take the rest of the influences of the time into consideration when writing a song. This is real musicianship with a real grasp of the past and present that probably comes from their enviable pedigree (which includes Earlimart, Sebadoh, Folk Implosion, John Vanderslice, and the Watson Twins). Their experience, musicianship and live show come from a gourmand's understanding of the Americana canon and an honest reverence for the acts they emulate (not imitate).