Local boys Feral Children brought their distinct brand of experimental indie rock to the Crocodile on April 14, 2011 following raucous sets by Tacoma’s Lozen and Seattle’s Absolute Monarchs. Their sound is all at once haunting and fanatical, played hard and fast by talented musicians, each adept at their chosen instrument. Visceral is the word that kept coming to mind as I watched lead singer Jeff Keenan work the body rock, banging the shit out of his mini kit and screaming into the mic. The whole feeling was very primal. I enjoyed the set up on stage, the closeness of the drum kit, Bill Cole‘s sound and style crisp and unmodified in my ears, amplified and dynamic, it felt clean and offered a duality to the rest of the sound that I really liked.
Feral Children offer a very particular variety of combined sounds – pop, scream, rock and an underlying tender anguish that’s raw as fuck – and I totally dig it. But, when it came to the actual performance, I was less than thrilled. I expected more of a connection between the band and the audience however, and it was that lack of association that I found to be unsettling. I got the feeling that they were playing for themselves, for each other - to hear the sounds they were making – as opposed to showcasing what they do best – relating their unique brand to us and for us. They seemed really wrapped up in their own heads. Maybe it was an off night? Maybe the crowd wasn’t big enough to warrant that kind of relatability (yes, this is a made up word) between what was happening onstage and in the audience? I just wished for more of a performance for the houseful of dedicated fans and less of a jam session between a group of (clearly) talented and beloved local musicians.