By Graham Isaac
The first time I saw Lake of Falcons was last year at the Jules Mae Saloon. It was part of an aborted attempt to see Police Teeth after a long day of other obligations.
Sadly, I and my party were thwarted by south Seattle’s intricate roadwork, which seems specifically designed to put you back on the freeway with no end in sight for six more miles. Either that, or I’m just not that observant and it’d been a long time since I’d been south of the U-District. Either way…
Happily for that evening, the other two bands were also good and redeemed any frustrations with the city’s infrastructure. There was the much vaunted Feral Children (whom I’m sure you can read about in any given issue of The Stranger from the last eight months) and an evening-closing performance by Lake of Falcons.
This band plays a specifically Northwest brand of Indie rock, taking cues from the genre’s regional-and-national history and synthesizing them into a sound that can satisfy you whether you’re looking for rock and roll riffing or post-punk deconstructionism. Think Juno at their most aggressive, a midnight meeting between Built to Spill and Mudhoney, or Trail of Dead if they were scoring an action movie instead of a painting.
On record, the band’s more melodic side comes out; wistful vocals over spiraling guitar lines and lead bass notes. Tracks like “Pushpins” or “Iris Pattern” are melancholy in the best way, while “A Bus for Runners” or “Shiftlock Overdrive” pack the angular punch the band has live.
Live, as is the tradition with most rock bands worth their salt, Lake of Falcons are louder, meaner and more distorted, assaulting concertgoers with a desperation they’ve yet to capture on record.
Some of their melodic touches are lost in the live setting, but this is a band and style of music that feeds off energy. And Lake of Falcons has that in spades; they were drenched in sweat by the end of the show, their already-threadbare shirts getting that much dirtier.