I had the luck of seeing this band on the same night that 45 Grave and Nervous Gender played The Echo in Echo Park. This was my first time seeing or even hearing the band, but I had heard about them a few times in passing. Naturally, I was curious about them since their reputation preceded them.
What transpired on stage that evening was a bit of a phenomenon that I am frankly at a loss to effectively describe. I’m okay with that because sometimes music hits you at a level where you lose the ability to examine it on any critical level and where it exists for you as a bundle of pure emotion.
The quartet of Adam (sax-playing vocalist and movement muse), Heather (guitar), Matt (drums), and Daniel (bass) practice a sonic version of a tantric death-fit that forms a delicious melange somewhere outside the terms used to describe them. Yes, Egrets on Ergot are classifiable as somewhat post-punk and somewhat deathrock and most certainly experimental. Their music doesn’t go quite where you think it will. The band played tunes that ranged from frantic to dulcet and back again to harsh, wiry, and taut. Simply put, in parts, this band is mind-blowing, eclectic, and otherworldly.
Though there was quite a bit to see performance-wise (see photos below for proof), what really captured me were the sounds coming from the stage. While vocalist Adam has a lot of stage presence, writhing around on the stage in a mix of yogi, Shakespeare’s Pan, and a djin, he didn’t upstage the music itself. The only part of this band I was a little thrown by was some of the saxophone playing. Some of it just didn’t seem integral to the songs, more like an afterthought, but perhaps that’s the point.
I arrived at The Echo without having done any due diligence to figure out what they were about. I had no intellectual concept of what influenced their sound or where to file them according to a specific genre (aside from being called “post-punk”). My usual method of discovering new music is to listen tentatively to grasp at a concept or vision of a band or watch the room to see the reaction of the crowd as they witness the band’s performance. Not on this night. I was caught some place between the grisly, aggressive seduction of Heather’s guitar and the ponderous wash of thick bass provided by Daniel, so I just went with it.
I just allowed the music to wash over me, uncomplicated by expectation or definitions.
It will have to be satisfactory for me to merely say that they are strong, interesting musicians who make songs that have the power to completely captivate. That’s what music is meant to be, so a job well done Egrets on Ergot !
I was so blown away by the band that I wrote them and asked if I could get them to answer a few questions. They were kind enough to do an interview.