Mid-gig guitar inspection
Mid-gig guitar inspection
Sarah Buss Photography

[Locals Only] Wag the Vessel Tongue

Wag the Tongue

We’ll get into this band’s recorded material, but really, all the information you need is directly above this paragraph. You wouldn’t watch West Side Story with the sound turned down. You wouldn’t want to only listen to the audio of Jurassic Park. And the first time you hear Santa Ana-based quintet the Vessel Tongue, it shouldn’t be through tiny white headphones on your iPod. It’s the kind of music you shouldn’t be content to just “hear,” because it’s meant to be experienced live.

During a performance at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa last month, the Vessel Tongue surprised the crowd—who at that point had been treated to genial but genteel sets from poppy, folksy acts—with about a half-hour of unrestrained, bratty, preening-yet-not-pretentious, good ol’ fashioned rocking out. They brought friends up to the stage to add extra percussion, danced frenetically, yelled, screamed and generally threw caution (and at the end of the set, their instruments) to the wind.

Now, all of that would actually be pretty tiresome if they couldn’t back up all their bravado musically. Thankfully, they know what they’re doing on that end, too—they count Queens of the Stone Age and the Eagles of Death Metal among their influences, which isn’t surprising given the similarities of on-stage attitude between Vessel Tongue lead singer Nigel Burk and Josh Homme (they’re both redheads, too!). They’re at work on a full-length album, but all that’s really available to listen to right now are three songs, two of which can be found on their MySpace page. “Burnin’ Oil” teases of the kind of fun the band can whip up (“She’s in love with the night,” the sing-along chorus goes), and, lest they be typecast already, the more somber “Moth” brings the tempo down—a bit, at least.


The Vessel Tongue play Gallagher’s, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 536-2422; www.gallagherspub.com. Fri., 8 p.m. Free. Visit the Vessel Tongue online at www.myspace.com/thevesseltongue.



wh: [Locals Only] Wag the  Tongue


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