Last Night: Film School at the Continental Room

PhotobucketBetter Than: Driving all the way to Los Angeles and paying to park.

Download: "Lectric" from their album Hideout

Some bands have a difficult time replicating their sound in the live format. Film School are not one of those bands, as they manage to drown their audience in waves of sound. In order to stir up these massive waves of sound, Film School usually bring along a sound guy to obtain that perfect mix, but the sound gal at the Continental Room did her best.

Film School triggered their avalanche of sound with "Compare," as the song was extended to a noisy four-minute intro before Greg Bertens (vocals/guitars) added his reverbed, hushed vocals to the mix with accompanying harmonies from Lorelei Plotczyk (bass/vocals). A fog of noise combined with cigarette smoke from the adjoining patio engulfed the patrons of the Continental Room as the swirling dervish track "Sick Hipster Nursed By Suicide Girl" roared from the speakers. Jason Ruck (keyboards) contributed ambient layers and noises to the song while James Smith (drums) kept up the feverish pace.

It was at this point that Greg's precious Fender Jaguar guitar couldn't sustain the feedback it was creating, and it gave out two songs into their set. How ironic that Bertens' Fender died in the city in which it was born (the guitar manufacturer's based in Fullerton). He switched to his Fender Telecaster Deluxe and kept the noise alive with "Two Kinds". Dave Dupuis (guitars) was on the verge of breaking his instrument as he furiously strummed out the chords to "Lectric". Bertens would later bring out the tambourine for one of more psychedelic songs in the Film School catalog, "Capitalized I."

"11:11" provided another turbulent, feedback-laden romp, as Bertens' vocals came in clear along with a deft mixture of reverb. The song ended in a screaming fury of feedback and squeals—music to my ears. "What I Meant to Say" closed out Film School's set and also happens to be the final track on Hideout. I quickly realized why they choose to end the album and live performances with this song. It always leaves you wanting more.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Film School's album Hideout was one of my top albums of 2007. Headphones strongly encouraged.

Random Detail: My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O'Ciosoig makes a guest appearance on Film School's album.

By The Way: Film School will open for the recently reunited Swervedriver May 31 at LA's Henry Fonda Theater.


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