Guitar Song

Pearls and Brass: An American band

And will they dig it? Maybe if someone calls it stoner rock ("Weed, yeah, I guess that's what comes to mind on record," Joel says). But to complain that Pearls and Brass share by similar source and temperament a sound with longhair hard rock bands of the '70s misses all but the trailing edge of the point: rock & roll was a frontier, a new psychic landscape to glow over the suburbs they were bulldozing into California orange groves, and you could be an explorer and look for icebergs or you could show up a little later and dig yourself in a place to live. Both are vital: someone plants the flag, but someone else has to remember where, or else the trees creep in and it's forgotten—Roanoke rock & roll, right? Like good Martin guitar employees, Pearls and Brass preserve and master a righteous art: three kids from this tiny town, playing music with each other for about 13 years now, knocking together songs by feel and nothing else, settled by natural agreement into something loud and hard, singing by natural coincidence—since they didn't own their own PA and couldn't hear their own vocals till they recorded—about their own lives: "A bonfire in the woods—that's honestly what we used to do when we were younger," says Joel, sort of apologetically because he has explained the origin and the reason and the strange purity within his band's traditional loud rock & roll sound in six syllables and five words, and this is at 1,200 words and counting and I still really haven't done it correctly. It's 2006 and America couldn't land a helicopter on a hospital roof, but they can sure record the shit out of a loud rock record, just in time for barely anyone to remember how or why to make one in the first place. But Pearls and Brass got how and why. Like a certain caveman once sang: "I been lovin' this guitar for such a long, long time/But it's alllriiiight now."

Fire in the woods. Photo by Michael Withers
Fire in the woods. Photo by Michael Withers

PEARLS AND BRASS PERFORM WITH REMEMBER FALLING, DAYBREAK ENDS, LEAVE ME BROKEN, ADELADE AND SYSTEM KID AT CHAIN REACTION, 1652 W. LINCOLN AVE., ANAHEIM, (714) 635-6067. WED., 7:30 P.M. (PEARLS AND BRASS ON AT 8:10 P.M.). $10. ALL AGES.

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