This past Wednesday December 16, 2015 was the first time I had the opportunity to see Earthless, the instrumental psychedelic rock band from San Diego, California, and I have to say– they vastly exceeded my expectations. For those who may have already heard this band in the past, and found that they just didn’t care for them, I argue that it’s because they haven’t heard them live: this band is meant to be heard live.
The time range for just about any Earthless song ranges from about 10-20 minutes, so for those listening on youtube or whatever, it can be somewhat tough to stay interested– especially if you don’t like psychedelic rock, or you prefer bands that have lyrics with their music, OR you just don’t have the attention span to listen to a 15 minute song. Opening for the for the hard-rock band Graveyard, Earthless’ set was shy of an hour, and in that time span they played 3 songs. Albeit these guys only played 3 songs, I don’t think anyone would really complain because every song is loaded with heaps of progression, constant guitar solos, and insane bass: never dull, constantly changing.
Another cool thing about this band? These guys are super nice and genuinely appreciate their fans. I briefly got to meet Isiah Mitchell (guitarist) when he accidentally bumped into me whilst trying to maneuver through the crowd. He turned around to apologize and when I recognized it was him, I quickly told him how awesome the show was, and he gave me a little hug. So nice! And luckily both Mario (drums) and Mike (bass) were at one point by their merch stand and were more than happy to talk to their fans.
While for me the show was over after Earthless, I am pleased to say that Graveyard was rad as well. I liked their distinctly heavy rock sound, intertwined with that bluesy-rock “twang,” and combined with the raspy vocals of Joakim Nilsson, they created an extremely enigmatic show.
My one reservation about the band? Probably their lyrics. While their sound certainly leaves an impression, their lyrics don’t. Their lyrics encompass all the typical subjects a heavy rock or metal band might discuss (i.e. chaos, revenge, death, intense drinking, war, satanic dark themes, political reform), but lack some of the emotional depth their soulful, bluesy sound connotates. Now, I’m not saying their lyrics are terrible, because that’s certainly not the case, but Graveyard isn’t really a band you’ll catch me singing the lyrics to– you’d probably catch me humming their guitar solos.