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Soul Pimps Describe Sound As ‘Dramatic Rock Operaesque’

Fri., July 11, 1997

This weekend is going to thump and jump and just in general funk.

And rock, too.

Two of the region’s favorite funk rock bands will join forces when they land in Spokane for shows tonight and Saturday.

The Super Sonic Soul Pimps and the Five Fingers of Funk show has moved from Swackhammer’s to Outback Jack’s tonight. They will play the all-ages club, Area 51, Saturday night.

For fans of the Super Sonic Soul Pimps, this weekend means the waiting is over. Spokane devotees of this decidedly wacky Seattle quartet will be the first to get their hands on the band’s second full-length CD “Albino.”

Known for their zany stage shows (in the past they have dressed like aliens and worn three-piece latex suits) the Soul Pimps deftly fuse humor with complex musicianship.

All four members sing, with a Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes piano adding a technicolor boogie feel to the guitar, drums and bass.

Such funk-injected-rock weirdness has drawn comparisons to Zappa, Devo and Queen and tends to create some fanatical fans.

Daniel, the keyboardist known as Wonder Bred, said that at one show, 60 or so people wore orange clothing underneath their regular garb. When the band hit its first chord, the crowd - in unison - stripped down to their pumpkin colors.

A preview copy of the Soul Pimps’ new album was not available before press time for review, but Daniel said it continues with their dramatic flair and danceable groove.

However, “I think this album is more focused,” he said. “I think we’re truly developing our own sound. If you want to define it as dramatic rock operaesque, I think those are appropriate terms.”

As always, the heavy slathering of humor remains.

Check out songs “Joe Schmoe the Garbage Man” about just that - Joe Schmoe. “Thunder Pig” finds the 1977 Dodge Ram van they tour in becoming a mythological figure.

The Soul Pimps headline tonight’s show at Outback Jack’s, starting at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $6 in advance, $7 at the door.

On Saturday, Five Fingers of Funk will headline the all-ages show at Area 51 (formerly Club Oz, at 117 E. Boone) with the Soul Pimps opening. This eight-man unit features a three-piece horn section and is Portland’s premier funk/hip-hop/rap crew.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Cover is $6 in advance, $8 at the door.

And as though the above-mentioned bands weren’t already enough, Salmon Davis jumps in, opening tonight’s Outback show.

Although this power pop trio hails from Seattle, singer/bassist Sam Hudson is, in truth, a long-lost Spokane son who graduated from Ferris High School.

His band recently beat out more than 650 unsigned bands from across the country to win the title “best unsigned band” at the second-annual “UnVailed: The Ultimate Band and Board Event” sponsored by Sam Goody stores.

These guys used their $11,000 in winnings to put out their first CD - just three weeks old - with hopes of getting some label interest.

“We decided after accomplishing the best unsigned band title, we would settle for being the worst signed band,” Hudson says with a laugh.

No fear there. Their CD finds yummy pop melodies tucked into crackling guitar with an alterna feel on “Becoming Subject.”

Led by thumpy-liquid bass lines, “Downtown Trippin,”’ lopes to the mellow side as Hudson sings of a relationship in which drug addiction is the common bond.

Rock flashback

Whoa. Whiplash.

The screechy-demanding falsetto and grinding guitars leaking through my headphones just yanked me back to the not-so-distant past when it was cool to have big hair.

I shudder.

It would seem that ‘80s hard rock has decided not to remain in the ‘80s.

With recent album releases from hard-rock standard bearers Motley Crue and W.A.S.P., it has become clear these bands, once stomped into uncoolness by grunge, have decided to rear their shaggy heads once again now that grunge is on the outs.

Slaughter has joined the fray with its latest album, “Revolution,” on CMC International - a home for ‘80s and early ‘90s rockers like Warrant, Dokken and L.A. Guns.

Touring in support of the album, Slaughter - which in its heyday played to crowded arenas and landed radio hits with “Up All Night” and “Fly to the Angels” - will make a stop in Coeur d’Alene Monday to play at The Edge.

Slaughter is made up of Mark Slaughter on vocals, guitar and keyboard, Dana Strum on bass, Tim Kelly on guitar and Blas Elias on drums.

Judging by their CD, they still retain the standard rock edge of the time while updating their sound in some … er … different ways.

“American Pie” takes on a bit o’ softy psychedelia - something that just seems strange coming from a band named Slaughter. Peace, love, flower power .. . you’re so cosmic, got naked on the moon.

In “Can We Find a Way,” frontman Slaughter sings, We should meditate a higher conscious/Listen in peace, in peace and harmony yeah/All I wanna do is brighten your darkest days.

Of course, then there’s “Tongue in Groove,” which has all the expected markings of the era.

Here I am addicted like an animal in heat/All I really want to do is put my/ Tongue in your groove.

But hey, I’m not complaining here. Sure, it’s not my thing, but some folks out there are probably thrilled to see this … uh … comeback.

And as Mark Slaughter says, “We are who we are and we’re damn proud of it.”

To those of you who miss the hard rockin’ days bygone, I say head to The Edge Monday night. The nightclub is at 4720 Seltice Way between Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. Slaughter will be there. Tickets cost $12. Show starts at 9 p.m. The owner is hoping to book Great White in the near future, so keep your ears open.

Other options out there

For those with a hankering for the blues, Coeur d’Alene is the place to be.

Cafe Blue returns to Mad Daddy’s Blues Club in Coeur d’Alene tonight and Saturday. Cover is $5 and the tunes start at 9 p.m.

Cash McCall takes the stage tonight and Saturday at the Tubs Cafe outdoor Blues Garden. During time at Chess Records, McCall wrote for artists such as Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf. He also performed on the movie soundtrack to “Great Balls of Fire” about the life of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Tickets are $15. Show starts at 5:30 today and 4 p.m. Saturday.

At Ichabod’s North tonight catch out-of-town punksters Los Huevos from Sacramento, The Zillionaires from Salt Lake and Humpy from Missoula. On Thursday Space Cookie arrives all the way from Athens, Ga.

Catch Greg and Capsule on Saturday.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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