The Greater Midwest - free live performance
Thursday, February 14th 6:00 PM
Portland, OR band The Greater Midwest has released an eleven-track debut made for smart, mordant, yet mirthful new rock lovers who want a sharp-witted and emotionally deep drinking buddy for an album. It has the peat taste of the best intoxicated Minneapolis alternative rock, but also isn't afraid to grind out hypnotic post-punk riffs in the best UK band fashion.
Consumer Confidence was co-produced by Shawn's brother Adam Pike along with the band, and the former is known for his clear shards of hard rock clarity with Red Fang, Black Elk, and Norska. With the help of additional musicians Ross Faulkenberg on keyboards and horn player Jott Robertson (who also did the creative album photography), the entire song cycle is the closest way the listener can appreciate the Greater Midwest, besides seeing them live. The band were able to capture this energy, the intricacy and liveliness of their compositions assisted by astute engineering by Adam and Mikael Naramore, having recorded it all at Toadhouse Studios and Terrestrial Studios.
The band's origin story is simple, and sounds perfectly Portland: "I was in a band with Nick before and so he was a natural fit. Jake worked with Nick at Hotlips Pizza downtown, and I had known him from his other band The Empty so we asked him to join. Bobby (guitar) is in Jake's other band and we needed a guitar player, so he agreed to join." That simple. They're young. Able to sound as bed-sit baroque as The Kinks and as chilly and sophisticated as the Figurines turning the disco beat around in the same song (closing number "Hey, Sunshine").
Maybe it takes being in the Pacific NW milieu, which Pike notes for its love for art all around them, and Pike's own appreciation for expressive writers like Vonnegut and Hemingway, to come up with these eleven tracks: Sensitive but tough Saturday night rock, yet a stained bullet proof glass Sunday comedown soundtrack. Capturing the whole width of a weekend of life, with Consumer Confidence, The Greater Midwest have completely succeeded.