Arts & Culture

Blown Up to Teenage Proportion

By Anand Balasubrahmanyan March 2, 2010



Anacortes four piece, The Lonely Forest, have come a long way since winning the 2006 SoundOff! battle of the bands. They played a packed Sky Church at last year's Bumbershoot, and now they're the first band signed to Chris Walla's (of Deathcab for Cutie) new Atlantic Records imprint. Their show tonight at Neumos feels like a send off into the national consciousness. Good luck guys, see you on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

Of course, not everyone's stoked that these guys might become the face of Seattle. Here's the Stranger's Eric Grandy on the band after their Bumbershoot performance,
“This is the kind of stuff you might find in the shallow end of the Twilight soundtrack pool: dickless, arena-aimed indie with mega-church praise-rock band levels of subtlety...soooooo boring and average and bland”

This seems like the going knock on the Lonely Forest, that they're Deathcab meets Pearl Jam—a band for fourteen year old girls who can't recognize “good” music yet.

But come on. It's unfair to call Lonely Forest an indie band, they write big, accessible songs that were made to be signed by a major. When compared to contemporary like Kings of Leon, I'd take Lonely Forest every time. Imagine being an Omaha teenager when “We Sing in Time” comes on the radio. You are going to rock out, hands drumming the steering wheel, and sure it's cliche and sure your parents do this sometimes too, but why let that stop the sugar rush of a great radio moment?

This is the band's appeal, their majesty. “Far Outer Banks” is a mammoth pop song that knows mammoth pop songs should not be subtle. Following tumbling drums, it crescendos in a feedback build straight from the post-grunge playbook. The emotions are right out there, blown to teenage proportion.

Deathcab meets Pearl Jam? I'm there.

The Lonely Forest play Neumos tonight, March 2.

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