Homesick Aliens, You Bred Raptors? at Crescent & Vine, June 6, 2014
Coming out of New York City’s busking scene, You Bred Raptors? delivers a well-crafted statement that references the last half millennium of music—heavy post rock woven through with passages symphonic enough to make their tracks sound like a score to a gritty (but hopeful) urban lifestyle. It’s no wonder they’ve been commissioned to do the soundtrack for an upcoming feature film from TROMA Pictures, as well as 6 independent films produced by PVAF Films throughout 2014 – 2015.
The trio consists of Epileptic Peat (Peat Rains) on bass, Bryan Wilson on cello and Patrick Bradley hitting the drums. When they took the stage at Crescent & Vine in Queens, I noticed a rare synchronicity between them and the crowd. They opened with the epic “Archaeopteryx,” a classical prog number that a full orchestra could take on, and then transitioned to the well-grounded “Grab Apple,” which spans a range of funk that includes notes of everything from Bach to Sting. A rocking hush flew over the crowd as the show went on.
One of the band’s major accomplishments is their ability to tackle challenging harmonic relationships and to weave in relentless percussion with classical sophistication—the latter largely due to Wilson’s talent on the cello. His haunting accompaniments hover over Rains’ melodies (it’s enough to foster a whole new appreciate for Yo-Yo Ma.) Rains matches Wilson with full control over his 8-string bass–moving from bass thump strumming to advanced fret taps and string bends. The dynamic complexity of their music gives form to the concept of light and shade, and all is held together by Bradley on drums. Using just a two-piece kit (with a hi hat and a ride cymbal), he swings imaginatively from a tight disco beat, to slam and crash, to the soft pace of a sonata.
The theatrics of the band are the only detraction; all three wear masks that they change out throughout the set. I can understand the idea of having the music speaks for itself, but these guys have to think about the practicalities—how you gonna get laid when nobody knows who you are?
Crescent & Vine
2503 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria