ROCK THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY: A few young rock bands playing this week rock with a spirit of yesteryear, rocking in the old-fashioned way — and I don’t mean in the way of a peaceful old guard of ’60s songsmiths flanked reverently around their shared acoustic legacies, rocking fatherly and sagely. I mean rock of the happily excessive, flagrantly disobedient, wildly spirited variety, when groupies were guaranteed and roads were open passages to eternal youth. Of these, S.B.’s The DTEASE, who play with Retrodemon at Whiskey Richards (437 State St.) tomorrow, Friday, August 26, at 10 p.m., like their rebellion full of glam-punk showmanship, including stage combat, while The Wild Feathers, who open for Band of Horses tomorrow at 8 p.m. at The Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.) like it in road-trip style, unbounded, psychedelic, and anthemic. Here is a look at both of them.
WHAT A DTEASE: Once upon a time, rock music was one of the most powerful and destructive forces known to man, capable of terrifying governments and concerned parents alike. That’s the kind of rock The DTEASE love. “The DTEASE push things to where they feel like they are constantly on the verge of blowing apart,” says frontman Wilson Gil. Their stage shows have been known to include smashed instruments, scantily clad stage combatants, pyrotechnics, and bursts of glitter, with the high-powered energy that can make a venue seem ready to crumble in supplication.
The DTEASE lament the lack of rock ’n’ roll showmanship in contemporary music and strive to bring a bit of spectacle back to the fray. “Nowadays there are no captivating live shows; the lead singer doesn’t give a fuck and is up there chewing gum,” says bassist Terry Luna. There are no thousand-yard stares of shyness here; the band engages directly with the audience, so be prepared to be a part of the show. “We want the crowd involved as much as we are,” says drummer Mike Sharpe.
This means breaking rules and breaking barriers. The group features its very own stage fighters, with Cate Imperio and Samantha Fairley dueling onstage as the riffs wreak havoc. “The dancers are there to be political. They are provocateurs and make everyone let their guard down,” Gil said. Their music aims for liberation. “It’s the politics of being completely free,” he said.
No doubt, it will be a wild time. “I’m always slipping on greasy dog food, treading glow sticks in platform heels, glitter and feathers in my eyes, microphone swung to the head, broken toes — I love it all,” Imperio said.
WILD HEART: “The softer stuff always comes easier,” admits The Wild Feathers’ bassist/vocalist Joel King. The band released its new album, Lonely Is a Lifetime, this year, a decidedly more rocking follow-up to 2013’s plaintive and highly praised self-titled debut. It’s something of an old-timey thing, he says, with the Nashville-by-way-of-Texas band naturally drawn to the barest of acoustic setups and the melodies that issue from them. With multiple singers, vocal harmonies are part of the picture regardless of tempo, but this time, they decided to pump up the energy, he says, thanks to their live show, with the touring life adding an invigorating effect to their already energetic personalities.
With a cover art collage of teens pointing over desert valleys into a starry infinity, their new album points to the kind of rock that paves new horizons, built for cross-country adventures and inter-dimensional explorations. “We love the kind of traveler spirit, the Kerouac spirit,” King said. “That classic, romantic, On The Road type narrative is real to us.”
So, too, is the invisible side of life. King says the band is fascinated by all things mystical; hence a video shoot at the celestially inclined glamping spot El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas, for their song “Help Me Out.” So did they see the famed Marfa Lights? “We had finished the fireworks scene, and a guy stepped out of the shadows and told us to look. It was pretty freaky, but sure as shit, there it was,” he said. “It was simply awesome.”