LIVE REVIEW: The Mumlers, Vetiver @ Bottom of the Hill 5/26/2010
After a few slightly clumsy songs, Mumlers singer, Will Sprott, confided in the audience that the band is now shy a bassist and tambourine player, forcing the now five-piece act to improvise their roles during select songs. If there is such a thing as a happy accident, this seemed a great example. Hearing a tuba replace a bass during a 60s-esque, R&B, she-left-me song added just the perfect amount of cacophony to their vintage sound. However, Sprott’s butter-melting voice, which rivals that of Nina Simone, is the real comeliness of this San Jose band. Boys, you are representing in the South Bay and I am won the fuck over.
Vetiver certainly took an already warmed up crowd to new heights. The SF band, fronted by Andy Cabic, who co-wrote songs on Devendra Banhart‘s Cripple Crow, is an extremely chill folk get-up that tastefully trims their songs with a southern charm. However, the performance seemed slightly one-note for those of us who require a little more weight in our music. Yet, the slightly more pop-y songs in Vetiver’s repertoire almost reached the aforementioned weight requirements, but not quite.
One of life’s many astonishing moments is when the opening band sets the bar higher than the headliner can reach, and The Mumlers certainly dropped jaws in that respect. Well, at least the jaw of yours truly.