Banyan

Album Title: Live at Perkins Place
Release Date: December 8, 2004
Rating:
Genre: Rock
In the world of supergroups, Banyan are the Free Kitten to Audioslave's Blind FaithÖ if that helps. Helmed by ex-Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Banyan plays a jammy strand of instrumental rock that's as technically precise as it is loose and dirty. And how could it not be, what with the mother of all bass players, Mike Watt, watching the bottom line. Watt and Perkins anchor this disc, fittingly called Live at Perkins' Place, and allow guitar hero Nels Cline (currently of Wilco, formerly of a ton of other bands) to twiddle away unprovoked. The real wildcard is trumpeter Willie Waldman who spikes such tracks as "Mad as a Hornet" and "Orn Orn Orn" with some peppy brass clips. The music retains a certainly Latino feel, no doubt inspired by the members' Los Angeles homestead, and also is not dissimilar to Watt's latter work with the Minutemen and ultimately, Firehose. Yet the real treat from Live at Perkins' Place is the spooky "King of Long Beach", a five minute mid-tempo jam that seems to summon the spirit of every sailor to pass through San Pedro. Meaning if you're going to be listening to this album alone in the dark, you might wanna brandish a switchblade.

Writer: Cameron Gordon


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