Since leaving Octopus Jones earlier this summer and relocating from Raleigh back to South Carolina, ET Anderson front-man Tyler Morris has worked quickly forming a band with an all-star lineup and putting finishing touches on the band’s first release due out later this year. For the bands first performance they played a steamy and intimate house show opening for two bands coming off dates at Hopscotch music festival in Raleigh, NC, Ava Luna and Celestial Shore along with local Dear Blanca.
The ET Anderson show surpassed expectations. With a band built of excellent local musicians including Bobby Hatfield (The Sea Wolf Mutiny) on keys, Alex McCollum (Stagbriar) on guitar, John Fowler (Small Sanctions) bass, and Morris’ former band-mate in Calculator Michael Crawford on drums the fivesome worked their way through a 20 something minute set of tracks off the new album. For Calculator fans, or fans of Morris’ work on the new Octopus Jones record, the new songs will come off as a continuation of his previous work. If anything it’s a little more warped than the material he released with Calculator, the live set featuring more noise and instrumental breakdowns than anything before. With this lineup it especially works. Hatfields keys cut through Manzarekesque at times, while both Morris and McCollum’s guitars pick through abstract chords to create a beautifully warped chorus of notes while the bass and drums drive along. The clear highlight of the set came in the form of a sexy new song where Hatfield gives a hushed “Shaaaa” into the mic both in the beginning and later in the song, reestablishing it as the same song as it strays off path.
As much as this show was somewhat under the radar and planned as an intimate performance ET Anderson move to the big stage in October, playing Jam Room Music Festival, a festival that took a wise chance on a band that had never played a show or released any music. In hindsight that will be an incredibly smart booking decision if ET Anderson can keep the wheels on the tracks. The band has all the tools to make a splash. Keep your ears peeled Merge.