I first saw Indigo Blaze supporting Southern River Band at Mojos in March 2019, when I was moved to observe that they ‘play a brand of quick-fire rap-rock that had us in mind of something along the lines of Rage Against The Machine with accents of Beastie Boys and 28 Days’. I put them on my watch list because I could see right away that here was a band with potential, even though it was only their second gig.
Here’s a vocalist and front man who’s got the energy of a whole bunch of frogs in a sock and just that little edge of danger. When he’s in the room you know just about anything could happen.
2020 rolled around and COVID killed the music stars. I settled in to write stuff for Around The Sound that would annoy people, with some degree of success, and all the musos took an enforced, although well-earned, break. It was a weird year.
Now into the second month of 2021, things have stayed weird. The bustle in the hedgerow of the WA music industry that began in the latter part of last year has continued, albeit with some interruptions and, across my Facebook feed, when I was allowed to see it, came news of a new release from Indigo Blaze.
I promptly ignored it.
I have to admit, I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. Me and the rest of the world. The ennui of living through a global pandemic really sucks! So, I didn’t think I had enough bounce in me for new music from Indigo Blaze. I decided I’d pass this time instead of being inquisitive. There are only so many hours in the day and why would I use those reserved for my afternoon naps on a band whose new music would most likely make me nod and smile politely while hoping I didn’t really have to write anything about it?
Then I got a phone call from a friend of the band, someone who knows what’s what and has delivered me some hot tips in the past. Had I heard of Indigo Blaze, they asked? Did I know they had a new song coming out? Would I speak to them?
I said, Yes, because life has become all about the path of least resistance lately. Send me an email with the track and I’ll have a listen and speak to them.
I opened the email with little interest. In my mind I owed my contact a favour, but that didn’t mean I was going to like what they’d sent me. And, horrors, it was a video, so I’d have to watch as well as listen. Two senses engaged at once was more than I felt I could cope with. I took the dogs for a walk instead.
Home again and dogs fed, I steeled myself to sit down and watch the bloody video.
I clicked play and before me was an image of mud brown water, moving maniacally before my eyes because the smartarse video editor had decided to put it on fast forward for some reason. Maybe there’s something wrong with the file? I hoped. Maybe I wouldn’t have to watch it after all.
I was about to click pause when I heard the hi hat and snare kick in, closely followed by a guitar riff that made my ears prick up. It resolved to two notes, my favourite number of notes to put in a hook after one, and I began to smile. On screen the band’s drummer and singer were on a beach in front of a jetty.
Then the vocals kicked in and my face broke into the biggest smile. One of those where your cheeks hurt after a while because it’s just so fucking huge.
I was watching the video to Indigo Blaze’s latest single, ‘Funk, Summer Brother’, a sweet gem of a funk/hip hop/punk song that has all the rap craziness of Eminem fused with the pop sensibilities of Third Eye Blind. I’m smiling just thinking about it and I’ve now watched the video enough times to be able to spot the continuity errors in the final edit. This song is immediate, but it stays with you. It would have to be just about the best new music I’ve heard all year. Yeah, OK, it’s only February, but this one’s going to stay at the top of my hit parade for quite some time.
Speaking to Indigo Blaze guitarist, Jason Caniglia, I suggested that the band may have just found their vibe with ‘Funk, Summer Brother’. Caniglia agreed but reminded me of his band’s heritage, saying, “We still we want to keep the heavier side of things, because we like playing that sort of music as well, but yeah definitely as far as song writing, that’s definitely something we want to more of, more fun sort of stuff.”
Fun is exactly the word to describe ‘Funk, Summer Brother’. It’s a ride and a half that’s carried by Caniglia’s guitar riff and Rhys Gahan’s unique vocal delivery and sunny California melody.
Secretly, while speaking to Caniglia, I wished I was speaking to Gahan. (Hell, he’s even got the right name!) Here’s a vocalist and front man who’s got the energy of a whole bunch of frogs in a sock (no frogs were harmed during the writing of this article/send your complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org) and just that little edge of danger. When he’s in the room you know just about anything could happen.
I was listening to Caniglia when I let slip that I’d probably rather talk to his bandmate. He was pretty gracious about it, saying, “He just has so much so much creative energy! When it comes to writing his lyrics they just speak for themselves and when it comes to what he produces and how he delivers things and his rapping… He’s quite the character! When you actually get to know him, he’s a weirdo, but he’s definitely a very fun guy and he puts a lot of energy and creativity into the lyrics.”
Yeah, that’s the man I really wanted to talk to. Not that Caniglia’s uninteresting or anything. He’s the one who put ‘Funk, Summer Brother’ together so he’s more than all right in my book, although it did make me sick with envy when he said, “The song came together in about 10 minutes at the end of a rehearsal, ahead of a studio session. I was playing around with the basic chords and it just sort of came together from there. We finished it off in the studio probably about a month later.”
I really dislike it when people flaunt their talent like that.
Anyway, back to the video. Around halfway through things get weird when the band takes on itself in an interlude of yelling and flashing (watch it, you’ll see what I mean). Somehow sausages get involved and people end up getting sick. A lot. I can’t figure out whether it’s because they did an Inbetweeners and ate the sausages raw or because the acid was bad. Anyhow, there’s aliens, terrible dancing, people dressed in karate outfits and pretty much everything you could want from a music video.
We’re premiering it here on Around The Sound right now, so have yourself a gander and don’t you dare tell me that your cheeks don’t hurt afterwards.
Indigo Blaze launch ‘Funk, Summer Brother’ at the Corner Gallery on Saturday 27 February. Get your tickets here, it’s going to be a hoot!