By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Intertwining strands of shoegaze, doom and post-punk into a uniquely evocative sound, Indiana-based trio Cloakroom has developed an impressive reputation in the five short years since the trio came together in 2012.
Founded by lead singer and guitarist Doyle Martin (formerly of emo punk bands Lion of the North and Grown Ups), bassist Bobby Markos (ex member of mathrock group Native) and drummer Brian Busch, Cloakroom soon got the attention of Boston-based indie label Run For Cover Records, who signed them to release their first recordings.
The trio’s debut 2013 EP Infinity earned high praise for its heavy update of the sound popularized in the early ’90s by the likes of Slowdive and Galaxie 500. The band earned more fans and critical acclaim with it’s proper debut full-length Further Out two years later with even bigger hooks and sweeping melodies that recalled fellow Midwestern band and underappreciated mid-1990s alt-rock crew Hum.
Earlier this year, the band announced that it would be moving to noted metal imprint Relapse Records to release their second album. That effort, entitled Time Well, came out to another round of enthusiastic reviews this past August. Reinforcing the connection with Hum by enlisting that band’s guitarist Matt Talbot as producer, the new songs deliver a compelling mix of sludgy riffs and dreamy, oblique melodies that stand at the core of their singular sound. For this West Coast tour to promote the album that comes to the Rickshaw Stop Tuesday night, Cloakroom team up with like-minded Bay Area band Porch, who are led guitarist Todd Huth.
Huth first rose to prominence during the mid-1980s as the original guitarist with future Bay Area alt-rock heroes Primus before his replacement Larry LaLonde would recreate Huth’s guitar melodies on most of the material that made up the band’s early studio albums Frizzle Fry and Sailing on the Seas of Cheese.
While the guitarist would once again work with Primus mainstay and bass virtuoso Les Claypool in the band Sausage (essentially a reunion of the original Primus line-up featuring Huth and drummer Jay Lane) in the ’90s, he also made waves leading his own group Porch. Exploring a more aggressive, dissonant sound that echoed iconic noise-punk acts like the Jesus Lizard and Unsane while still indulging in the complex time signatures of Huth’s earlier band, Porch released its self-titled album in 1994 and played the Bay Area extensively before eventually splitting up.
Porch would resurface a few years ago when Huth and bassist Christopher Frey brought drummer Michael Jacobs into the fold to record the trio’s first new album in 17 years, Givin Up. In 2013, the band recorded a stunning follow-up effort entitled Walking Boss with noted producer Tim Green at his Louder Studios in Grass Valley. Rising Santa Rosa noise-rock outfit Slow Bloom opens the show.
Cloakroom with Porch
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. $12-$15