Wednesday, February 8, 2012

caddywhompus / sun hotel

Funny name. Serious shredders. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys 3 times in one week during the holidays in Texas. The NOLA - based duo is on the same label as my dear friends Informant: Community Records. After meeting so many people involved with Community, you really start to feel the love. They regularly post free downloads from their bands on their website and host a block party in New Orleans every year around April. Rx Bandits have been headlining the past couple of years and the event gets more popular every year. I ordered a Community records t-shirt for my girlfriend’s birthday last year and was happily surprised to receive a handwritten letter from the guys that run the label ( D-Ray and Greg, one bearded , one not) along with some free stickers and flyers for free downloads. Described by some as a “do-it themselves punk collective”, Community finds artists from all corners of the US and does a great job of promoting and taking care of them.

Fred (guitarist of Informant) was down in Austin with me when he caught word from his Community friends that Caddywhompus and Sun Hotel(so rad) would be performing for New Year’s Eve at a house party on the Eastside. After attending a show that was shut down halfway through their set during SXSW 2011, this sounded like a perfect way to ring in the New Year. When we arrived we saw the Community merch table out front where Sean, CW drummer, sat with other Community dudes. Fred, being the warm and cuddly man he is, greeted them with an inebriated embrace. Sun Hotel was inside setting up for what would be a set that would really “wow” me(yeah I said it). WOW! So this was the first time I’d heard them and it couldn’t have been a more perfect setting. The house was packed wall to wall, people were celebrating, floorboards were bouncing, and the large fish tank in the corner rocked back and forth to the point I was certain it would spill over. Sun Hotel was solid as rock with spot on vocal harmonies and tastefully cranked lead guitar lines. They finished just before 12 o’clock and Caddywhompus scrambled to set up and kick off 2012 with a song. Lead singer and guitarist, Chris Rehm, had his hands full as he was performing and running sound for all the bands. But , with a personal bottle of champagne at his side, Rehm started at the stroke of midnight with a set that anyone in attendance wouldn’t forget, at least if they weren’t so plastered.I stood, front and center, leaning back against the crowd as they pushed and fell toward the band during the show. The next morning I woke up with a sore neck and fond, fuzzy memories.

On January 2nd, we were driving back up to Denton, Tx when I received a call from my dear friend Amy, who performs in Denton bands Taco Kitty and Side Boob Tsunami Babes. She told me she had organized a show with Caddywhompus and Sun Hotel at her friends house and that she wanted my band to perform. Even with just 2 of 3 of our members able to play, we were much obliged. The living room was just large enough to host a dimmed down version of the New Year’s performance. With many still recovering from NYE, the show was subdued and relaxing. The audience for the most part kicked back on the large couches and floor and passed the peace pipe during Sun Hotel. Caddywhompus still got the crowd moving that night and we (Foe Destroyer) played a stripped down version of our set with only myself and Daniel. It was nice to meet the guys from both bands and shoot the proverbial shit. And the party rolled on to the next night when the 2 bands performed at another house on Panhandle St. The following night, again in Denton. The highlight of this show for me was a sing along cover of “Relative Ways” by Texas natives, Trail of Dead (appeal to your audience!).

Caddywhompus works so well as a 2-piece because they have such a full sound. Chris and Sean have been playing music together since middle school and it shows. The two read each other with precision and ease. They’re able to pull of blink-of-an-eye tempo changes, crashing hits, perfect stops, and super-hard grooves as if they were a four armed man. Their most recent release was last Spring,The Weight EP (check it out, take a load off). It is available for download on their website and also from Community or Chinquapin Records. This is the video for one of my favorites off of Remainder , “Guilt”.

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