Local or Bust: Tandem & loosejaw

Wednesday evenings at Mills Record Company have now been dedicated to showing off the up-and-coming of Kansas City’s already burgeoning music scene. As I’ve written before, the event series, LOCAL OR BUST, will be a chance for new musicians to gain some traction before jetting off into the stratosphere or for offshoots of established bands to test out their new sound and feel.

The series will mix styles and genres together–a metal band could open for a singer-songwriter, an electronic-dance act could open for a shoegaze-y hiphop artist. The only stipulation is that the bands must be local. If your band or solo project wants to play, just shoot a message (with any demo you have) to millsinstore@gmail.com. Or if you know a band that would be a good fit, you can send a request to the same email.

LOCAL OR BUST has featured synth-heavy bands, singer-songwriters, vaudevillian performances, lo-fi slacker blues, and others. Tomorrow’s installment will feature two bands who, undoubtedly, will make waves soon: Tandem and loosejaw. Both bands combine an early aughts math-rock feel with more cohesive progressions to make music that seemingly never repeats while it builds its tension.

Tandem’s songs glitter on record and on stage. The three piece weaves together disjunctive percussion and angular guitar riffs to make songs that refuse to passively mire in their own sound. Every movement, every sound in the band’s demo feels intentional. Their parts, while quickly shifting in tempo and tone, are always compelling. Listening to Tandem is like being pulled through an unknown place by someone who knows how to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. The band’s musical acumen makes them a force to be reckoned with and one that will soon be among the ranks of Jorge Arana Trio, the author and the illustrator, Riala, and others like them.

loosejaw comes from a similar place stylistically. The instrumental band has all the epicness of Explosions in the Sky without any of its drawn out pretensions. The band’s demo tracks have a heat that is hard to create without a voice, yet loosejaw kindles it again and again. loosejaw’s sound is stunningly rich despite the fact that it has only three members. Each member pulls his musical weight. loosejaw packs each song with enough shimmer for an entire album. While the demo doesn’t feel as cohesive as the band’s established counterparts, it bubbles with potential–a potential that is sure to be realized.

The show starts at 6pm and is all ages and free. Tandem and loosejaw will gain local and national recognition soon, so this Wednesday will be a fantastic way to catch them before they start playing larger stages.

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