Monday, November 07, 2011

Hum at the Record Bar

After two stellar shows in Illinois, Hum quickly sold out their show at the Record Bar in Kansas City as a warm up to their Fun Fun Fun Festival set. While I wasn't feeling well for a number of days, I booked a last minute flight to Kansas City when I saw Hum added an early show. Two sets of Hum would provide me enough adrenaline and positive energy to get me through this tumultuous year.

The Life and Times
Bringing back good memories of their reunion shows of 2008/2009, The Life and Times once again opened both sets. Sonically, The Life and Times are a good fit to open for Hum as they fall somewhere in the post rock world with shades of Burning Airlines.

After absorbing two of their sets, my appreciation for the band definitely grew. Bassist Eric Abert was pulling double duty switching between his Realistic keyboard and a Schecter baritone guitar while drummer Chris Metcalf pummeled his drum kit while occasionally adding some keyboard work.

Lead singer and guitarist Allen Epley had his hands full between slashing away on his guitar and belting out the lyrics. Epley mentioned they have a new album due in January which I will definitely check out.


Early Show

The familiar haunting metallic swoosh of noise that kicks off "Suicide Machine" immediately confirmed that it was the right decision to fly out for the show. I was positioned directly in front of bassist Jeff Dimpsey and able to see him attack his G&L bass for the song. Guitars would roar and cymbals were smashed for "The Pod" and the crushing riff of "Iron Clad Lou". Tim Lash triggered the opening notes of "Green To Me" on his Fender Big Apple Stratocaster.

"Stars" made an early appearance in their set and still rocks no matter how many thousands of times I've heard the song. It was very impressive to see Lash And Talbott lock in on the furious metal breakdown. "Ms. Lazarus" was pure aural bliss as Bryan St. Pere crushed his drum kit making me wonder if it could withstand two sets in one day.

Continuing to visit Downward Is Heavenward, "Comin' Home" was another bombastic blast of guitars, bass and drums. Having seen a number of Hum reunion shows, it was evident that their playing was sharper and even better rehearsed. The detuned crunch of "Cloud City" rattled my bones as I was in awe of St. Pere's drumming at the end of the song along with the extreme coordinated precise riffing by Dimpsey, Lash and Talbott.

The deceptive quiet notes of "I Hate It Too" soon devolved into the epic rumble of guitars that served as the final blast of those attending the early show. Unfortunately due to time constraints, "I'd Like Your Hair Long" and another song were omitted. It was almost unreal to think I would see a similar set in just a few hours after.

Late Show

A vortex of swirl in the form of "Little Dipper" kicked off the late show and it seemed that Hum had even more energy. Talbott was using both his Ampeg and Orange heads simultaneously for the intoxicating wall of noise with a distinct MXR Phase 90 coloring. The transition to "I'd Like Your Hair Long" had me elated as they are both my favorite songs from "You'd Prefer An Astronaut".

My elation soon went off the charts when they played "Winder" which is one of my favorite tracks from Electra 2000. Extra points goes to St. Pere for recreating the vicious drumming at the tail end of the song.
It was almost a dream setlist as they ripped through "The Pod", "I Hate It Too" and "Green To Me". The other unreleased song in Hum's cannon is "Inklings" which seems to undergo minor revisions each time I hear the song live but rocks regardlessly every time .

The super detuned portion of the show was fantastic as they blasted out "Cloud City" and another personal favorite that hits close to home "The Scientists". It all seemed to end in a flash as they wrapped up their set with "Comin' Home" and "Iron Clad Lou". Hum was fully prepared for their set at Fun Fun Fun fest. One can only hope for more Hum shows in 2012 and the possibility they will release an EP with "Inklings" and "Cloud City". Also, make sure to check out Matt Talbott's label Earth Analog which released Dibiase and New Ruins.

Hum Setlist Early show (11/4/11)
"Suicide Machine"
"The Pod"
"Iron Clad Lou"
"Green To Me"
"Ms. Lazarus"
"Afternoon with the Axolotls"
"Comin' Home"
"Cloud City"
"I Hate It Too"

Hum Setlist Late show (11/4/11)
"Little Dipper"
"I'd Like Your Hair Long"
"Afternoon with the Axolotls"
"The Pod"
"I Hate It Too"
"Green To Me"
"Cloud City"
"The Scientists"
"Comin' Home"
"Iron Clad Lou"


weirdo said...

thanks for these hum reviews!

darshun said...

Did the Life and Times perform as a 3 or 4pc? They added a 4th member on the new album and his name is Rob Smith from Traindodge/Riddle Of Steel/Roma 79 fame.

Amateur Chemist said...

The Life and Times played as a 3 piece.