If you’re in the mood for something to groove to, look no further than Wetlands. This S.B.-born five-piece may not yet have an album to their name (look for the debut, In the Raw, this winter), but they’ve already made short work of the area live scene, gigging and inciting dance parties everywhere from Muddy Waters Café to nearly packed houses at SOhO.
As anyone who’s caught Wetlands’ live set can attest, for these five it’s all about the stage show. Matching shirts and ties is key, an anything-goes attitude is everpresent, and the performance floor is always open to friends and fans. While Wetlands
proper exists in the form of Jeremy Reineck (vocals/keys), Justin Flint (drums), Dusty Ineman (percussion/keys), Victor Murillo (bass), and Miguel “Miguelito” Leon (percussion), the Wetlands family extends much further to include a small artillery of Santa Barbara’s finest young players, who step in and out of the collective from show to show.
No matter who’s sitting in, though, you’re always sure to find the Wetlands ‘standards: i.e., a heaping dose of funky bass lines, a smattering of jammy guitar licks, and a boatload of Afrobeat-infused percussion, all layered to near perfection. “I think we’ve always agreed that we wanted heavy rhythms, African beats, and raw energy,” explains Flint.
And it’s that very raw energy that’s helped Wetlands amass such a sizable fanbase in their just-over-a-year-long run. “I feel like we let people be as wild as they want to be to the degree that they want to,” says Reineck. “There’s a point when people stop thinking about the music and start thinking about the dancing, or the energy coming out of the band,” adds Ineman. “It’s about getting to that [euphoric] state of, ‘This is great! Nothing else matters right now.’”
Want to see for yourself? Check out the Wetlands live this Saturday, October 2, at the Carpinteria Avocado Festival at 3:45 p.m. Visit myspace.com/wetlandsthemothership.