Like or Like Like Fridays: Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band

Yes I know it is a Saturday, but lets pretend it is a Friday for now! This is a new column for the blog featuring the very talented Danielle Quebrado! It will give you the scoop on all the up and coming indie bands, and also the ones that have been around for a bit but you’ve been missing out on. Enjoy!

The gang of five, originating from Seattle, has come a long way from the rambunctious days of messing around with their instruments and blindly experimenting in attempts to discover their own sound. Rocky in some rounds, yes, but they are regally maturing with their Thin Lizzy similarities and while simultaneously retaining their uniqueness. The group produces alarming music. Upon listening, be prepared to sharpen up your reflexes as the striking and sudden tempos push you along their songs in a whip-like motion. The beats are impulsive and the rhythm is playful. Indeed, the songs are catchy and their performances are equally appealing. I caught up with these guys and gal on their last tour with Bishop Allen and The Miniature Tigers and they surprised the entire crowd. Like a typical band they have the usual the instruments such as guitar, drums, etc. Unlike an ordinary band, the group uses Jumbo Jingle Sticks which are used to emphasize the alarming beats. Keyboardist Traci Verdoes controls the two large sticks by violently thrusting them against the floor on every down beat, demanding your attention with the shock of each collision. A sight to see, the quintet aims to please the visual senses by covering themselves from head to toe in matching frocks defined by gold lining and floral designs. Like their sound, their history is one of a kind. You could say they are like “The Partridge Family” but with a twist. Singer/guitarist Benjamin Verdoes is happily married to Traci Verdoes, keyboardist and multi-percussion guru. Here’s the twist: the blond-haired couple have since come to adopt the drummer, 14 year-old Marshall Verdoes as their legal son, who previously was Benjamin’s adopted brother. The decision to start the group came after Benjamin promised young Marshall that they would start one, only if the youngster became competent in his drumming. Soon, Marshall became skilled and the band was born. In addition to this familial core are fellow friends: Matthew Dammer on guitar and Jared Price on bass. I thrive on bands such as this; who are musically capable and produce waves of energy on stage. Give them a try, Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band is sure to tickle of your eager senses and leave you plenty satisfied.

Check out their MySpace for their music and current tour dates.

Recommended singles: “Cheer for Fate” “En Fuego” “Going On A Hunt”

Watch the video for ‘Going on a Hunt’

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