YES! I was one of the lucky ones that was invited to the Working Breed video release party for their single Turtle Race on December 14th at the Spirit Lodge in Lawrenceville.
This was well worth the trip into the city and if you know me, you know I don’t do cities. The video for Turtle Race was absolutely amazing – dark and brooding scenes of captivity interspersed with ironically brighter scenes of a marriage in decay. Turtle Race played out almost like an indie short film. The cinematography was stunning and the follow through was impeccable.
But don’t take my word for it, go on over and watch it for yourself: https://youtu.be/uL8j8ozMJFw.
As far as Working Breed’s music goes, I keep trying to define them and they keep eluding definition. They bill themselves as Art Rock, and that’s probably as accurate as anything else. To me, they’re like Steely Dan turned up to 11 and rocking out in a Prohibition-era speakeasy.
I grew up listening to the torch singers of the 20s and 30s and Erika’s dark and sultry vocals are easily on par with the best of them. There was even a part of the gig where she was referencing her lyric sheet and never once did her voice falter.
The rest of the band was insanely tight. They made reference during the video release that they kept having to rerecord things over and over to get it right and I just can’t envision that. Most bands that get on stage are tight – they have to be, but Working Breed is a level of tight that you don’t normally get outside of a major act doing a stadium tour.
It’s almost like the members of Working Breed were born playing their instruments.
One of the things that I always look for in a band is their energy level. And the energy never quit. Working Breed crushed their 45-minute set and it felt like they had just begun their first song. The stage at the Spirit Lodge was small and it would have been very easy for the 5-piece band to lock themselves into one spot on the stage and just stand there. Nope. Not Working Breed. I’m not even sure how Erika found space to move on that stage, but she never stopped.
My Chimera is the b-side of Turtle Race and sounds nothing like a b-side. I’m pretty sure it’s the most a-side b-side I’ve ever heard. I’ve seen Working Breed a couple of times now, and I just get chills every time this song starts. There’s just something about live horns. The guitar was equally impressive. Normally, you get a guitarist who can shred or a guitarist that is just so tasteful in his / her application of notes, it makes you cry. Rarely do you get both and the guitar lines in this song are just that – tasteful to shred and back again like it’s all just one seamless line.
Oh, and there was a saw. An actual musical saw. Which still fascinates me to a degree I can’t even describe.
And just when you think you’ve really adapted to their jazz-influenced tones, they wrap the set up with TKO – a flat-out rocker complete with shred.
The band’s line-up is:
Erika June Christina Laing / Vox, Trombone &Trumpet, Musical Saw
Michael Dugan / Guitar, Vox
Chloe Wiecz / Keys, Vox
Jonah Lee Petrelli / Bass
Jeremy Papay / Drums
The setlist for the Video release at the Spirit Lodge was:
MO FO RO RO
CAPTURE THE FOG
FOLLE DE TOI
TROOPER (TKO YAH!!!)
Want to hear more Working Breed? Check them out: