Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tonight: Elim Bolt, Sea Wolf Mutiny, Water Liars at Royal American

Dreamy crooners, earnest folksters, and Mississippi poets

Posted by Paul Bowers on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Due to constraints of time and space (damn this physical world!), we can't always fit everything we want into the print edition of the City Paper. This week, we really wished we could have run a preview of tonight's 9 p.m. show at the Royal American, but there just wasn't enough space.

So consider this your electronic warning: If you don't go see this show, you're missing out on a fine evening of local and regional indie rock. Admission is just 5 bucks, so you don't even have an excuse.

First off, you've got local favorites Elim Bolt. If you're not familiar with their act, imagine Roy Orbison in skinny jeans. Frontman Johnnie Matthews leads the charge with signature vibrato vocals slathered in reverb over equally echoey guitars, and the group chugs on like a party band from a hallucinogenic dream montage. Here's the outrageously fun video for their song "Dingy," off their most recent EP, Dingy, Slimy, Scummy!:

Next on the lineup is the Sea Wolf Mutiny, a standout act from Columbia's fertile indie scene. A five-piece band that manages to keep their sound quiet and uncluttered, they specialize in long-form, earnest alt-folk. Try to imagine Fleet Foxes coming of age in the Dirty South with a penchant for cinematic post-rock, and you're on the right track. Here's the band performing an oddball hymn called "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree":

And finally, we've got Water Liars, a Mississippi band that somehow manages to shapeshift between gentle acoustic balladry, sludgy stoner metal, and hard-edged '50s rock. Fans of Colour Revolt, another critically acclaimed act from the Oxford scene, will appreciate Water Liars' thoughtful take on gritty Southern tropes and imagery-laden storytelling. Here they are performing the gorgeously wistful song "Linens" and explaining a quote from John Milton to a high school class in Kansas. Just watch it:

Are you going to the show? You're going. Great, see you there.

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