Pop Pistol may be the most nationally qualified band in Saytown right now. Their music is expertly derivative of rock old and new, but it’s also defiantly moody, unclassifiable, and still uncannily accessible. At their Disappearing Edges EP release party April 1, the group was already achieving synergy with the crowd on opener “Skyscrape the World.” It’s obvious this band is in one of those musically rare moments of brimming creativity. See. Them. Now.
Pop played all of Disappearing, which marries their earlier work’s pop sensibilities with proggy grandeur. Any given moment Friday night revealed another influence borrowed and incorporated. George Garza’s bass on “Who Needs Forever” recalled the legato grooviness of Particle’s Eric Gould. Guitarist/vocalist Alex Scheel was aggresively restrained à la The Edge, foregoing virtuosity for wildly varying guitar tones and tuneful singing. Jorge Gonzales (the grinnin’-est drummer since Carter Beauford) followed suit, sliding through time signatures like a fish in water and splashing hair-raising drum fills. But he also returned to the 4/4 arena-rock beat repeatedly, hitting the kit like it had walked out on a bar tab. (read our review of Disappearing Edges here)
Technical crap aside, Pop achieved something brilliant on a metaphysical level. While it makes no sense for their dark, nerdy, ambient not-quite-metal to elicit sing-alongs from a packed house evenly split between men and women, that’s precisely what happened on “Who Needs Forever.” And when they played their heaviest on the unreleased song “No New Years,” the audience responded with dancing, fist-pumping, and cheering fit for any U2 crowd pleaser. What the fuck was going on here?
In short, Pop Pistol are onto something greater than “Best in Scene.” If they were from any other city, we’d pay Jack’s cover three times over to see them. If canonization isn’t awaiting, it won’t be for lack of talent or local support but for the cruelties of a business still coming to terms with Napster. Godspeed you, Pop Pistol.