"We're here for a rock n roll good time", Ryan Devlin chuckles as Hounds of the Wild Hunt finish another total jam. He points to the Tractor Tavern door. "If you aren't here for a rock n roll good time, you best just turn right around." Tonight, the Hounds open up for the infamous Nashville rock band willingly (or cursed by way of some indelible Faustian pact) named Diarrhea Planet. And not only that - they have four guitar players. As one of their t-shirts for sale so aptly asks, "Who the hell do they think they are?". Between the ten men on stage and their various forms of magnanimous facial hair, they will swing eight guitar shaped objects, smash over fifty collective pedals underfoot, and incite more rock and roll pandemonium than the average human body can physiologically contain without risk of combustion. It's safe to say, when Devlin posed the question, 20 minutes into the aforementioned rock n roll good time, not a soul left the building, not even for a smoke. Diarrhea Planet and Hounds of the Wild Hunt brought smiles by the dozen tonight at the Tractor Tavern, with copious rock n roll magic and guaranteed, more guitar noodling than the crowd had seen all year.Seattle's own Hounds of the Wild Hunt opened up the night in smashing late 70s style. The band hasn't released an album since 2012's El Mago, but new magic is on the horizon - tonight marked the live debut of lead guitarist Hoyt Smith. In the past, Hounds have played KEXP, and even played the EMP Sky Church as part of Bumbershoot back in 2009 under their old band name but it's fun to see them breaking out some new material here tonight. Bringing the rock and roll in full quantities, this was a great way to kick off the evening.
Hounds of the Wild Hunt:
Ian Bush's drum set has some pretty sick decals, with magician's gear alternating with music notes. But the real keeper of the set is the kick, which prominently features a mischievous looking devil declaring, "Rock and roll will save you". On new album Turn To Gold, Diarrhea Planet turn the seriousness knob up a bit and tackle salvation on a handful of tracks. The first is the Brent Toler-led single "Life Pass", which embraces the freedoms that come along with losing the fear of damnation. The second is "It Ain't A Sin To Win", which races into the afterlife at 95 mph and tears up the streets of gold in a guilt-free contest of champions. All over Turn To Gold, with or without a semblance of spirituality, Diarrhea Planet let go of predetermined ideas of a life and instead, living into a story. It's the euphoric light at the end of the tunnel that they share handsome portions of on the record. And if cruising down a sunset highway blasting "Dune" or hammering out insane air guitar to "Bob Dylan's Grandma" on your walk home from work aren't enough for you, then Diarrhea Planet will leave you without excuse at their live show. It's here where that message of joy gets pummeled into you in the form of four dudes playing some rippin' guitars at full volume, making sure not a second passes that isn't living in the red.
Diarrhea Planet's set barely scrapes over the forty minute mark, but it burns with the kind of intensity that makes you wish you'd saved energy in the first 25. Evan Bird spends the first few tunes at the edge of the stage, egging the crowd on with every free moment in between guitar solos. By the time they get to the singalong of "Life Pass", the crowd is loose and ready to party. Mosh pits have broken out, and not a word goes by that isn't accompanied by a fist pump. It's a raw, primal love that accompanies the likes of Diarrhea Planet. To be sure, there's a portion of that love dedicated to appreciating true excellence - when Emmett Miller nails the bridge on "Bob Dylan's Grandma", the crowd goes nuts for the incredible build and explosive finish. But it's the fact that these six dudes make highly technical, well-done rock and roll so damn appealing by never taking themselves too seriously. Jordan Smith breaks a stupid smile between nearly every one of his lines, as members of the audience drunkenly attempt stage dives in the small, crowded room and scream out requests for "Ghost With a Boner" (as annoying as those can be, how can you not just chuckle a bit?). It's all good family fun, albeit a tad scatological. Who the hell do they think they are? Just six dudes in a band with four guitars, here for a good time, not for a long time. And that's just the way we like it.
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