Please allow me to tell you a story, a true story I might add, concerning me going to my Mecca of music. I found love with music in the 90s, not the Brit-pop scene, but another, a scene that exploded around the world and made people of my mindset realise there are others out there. The grunge scene came to prominence.
A place full of infamous characters and legends that still live on. The home of Nirvana, Soundgarden Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam and Mudhoney to name a few. Music so powerful that many try to recreate – some have failed, some have done…ok.
In 2015, I finally realised I’m an adult, an adult of some sorts with a job, so I booked ten days in Seattle. An experience that’ll live with me forever. Like London, Seattle has live music venues showcasing local talent nearly every night. Spending time visiting these places, such as The Moore Theatre, The Crocodile, Triple Door and Key Arena… wow.
One evening roaming the streets of downtown, I came across the Triple Door. In there a band played, a band called Something in the Trees. I sat there drinking my Seattle coffee, eating a sandwich, enjoying the sound of the band. It dawned on me that not everyone in Seattle still has the grunge look or that sound as they’ve moved on. Something in the Trees are part of the new wave.
That evening I bought their CD, spoke to the band, then finished my coffee and off I went in to the night. That CD is in my collection and the track “Hoof Prints” hasn’t left my playlist. It’s 2017, and they’re back with a new one, a self-released album called Down With Birds.
Down With Birds opens with “Creature of Habit” a guitar intro a la The Beatles. It flows in a cacophony of gentleness. “Bone of Density” lets out a bit of steam. This is a favourite on the record. The uneasy cymbal tapping, the riff, the beat, the bass of Matt Hopper, the tone of Josh Snider makes moments skip a beat.
“Pink Tower”, you can see the video at the bottom, is a definite stand out. The melodic sounding Adam Sarton and Larry Hopper’s guitars create ambience of peace and relaxation within the psychedelic rock genre, especially with “You old Fool”. Their sound glides to complement their lyrics, vocals and brings this song to a higher plain.
Album namesake “Down with Birds” is a creeper with a background squawk of a bird. A near three minute long instrumental shows the calmness they’ve instilled in the moment. “Last Crack in the Ice” brings the record to an end. End, as this has a taste of the Doors within it. A great way to end.
Something in the Trees’ record needs to be listened to with eyes closed, with the music on loud. It’s not in your face, brutal or will expect the cops to be knocking on the door asking you to TURN IT DOWN. It’s gentle, deep, dark and a front runner in the Seattle movement that’s coming back into the world.