July 6, 2006 - The Big Dipper - Spokane, WA
by Anthony “If he’s going to be stalked like a Wigster, he might as well be one” Stassi
Gosling, F.K.A. Loudermilk, got their modest start in Tri-Cities, so it would serve the runty Spokane ego well to consider the Big Dipper show a homecoming. The “experimental” pop-rock quartet showed up armed to the teeth with polished, propulsive sing-a-longs. Considering they’ve managed to record only one five-song EP, their live show is an accomplishment in itself. Accomplishment, however, is an understatement for this particular show.
Drummer Isaac Carpenter commandeered the attention of the audience for most of the show. Even though he looked like an eight year old with ADD, the man was a monster behind the kit. By the end of the show he was practically sitting ass deep in a pile of mangled drumsticks. In many ways I felt like I was watching an objectionable parallel universe where a tight power-pop trio was fortunate enough to have hooked up with Belt of Vapor’s Justin Walters. Perhaps Isaac’s most impressive attribute was his seemingly flawless balance of musical vision and Bozzioesque chops with a humble complacency in his role as the backbone in the background (even managing the occasional vocal harmony).
The entirety of the set unveiled the many possible directions Gosling could go. Four or five songs into the show Mark Watrous traded the keys for a more familiar and seemingly more comfortable axe and half stack. This signaled a shift from a playful, piano-rock sound to a (preferred) dark, heavy ROCK sound. The spectrum of comparisons spanned from Black Sabbath to Ben Folds Five (perhaps “Billy Corgan Five” might even be more suitable).
That’s not to say that frontman Davey Ingersol didn’t have a hand in the direction of dynamics. Without his fluctuation of energy and theatrics, the show would have come across as a power-pop plateau. His only downfall was making a mumbled reference to their involvement with the Underworld soundtrack, an opportunity that was probably a result of some new friends in L.A. post-relocation (see Ashley, L.A. has its benefits).
All and all, a live Gosling experience instills much more faith than their five-song EP. Who knows, I might actually make the effort to burn the album when it crosses my path.
Anthony joins the Wig from Spokane, WA. The drummer in one of our favorites, Seaweed Jack, we're what you might call "super stoked" to have Anthony aboard as a new guest writer. Now, be overly critical of his writing and let us know how he's doing...