Heyrocco isn’t the best known band appearing at the 2013 Savannah Stopover — not by a longshot.
The trio has only one full-length album behind them — last year’s Comfort — and they’ve logged far fewer miles on the road than most of the other Stopover bands I’ll be previewing here in the coming weeks.
But Heyrocco has as much upside potential as any young band I’ve heard in recent years. Their high-energy live shows are rich and unpredictable — you have no idea what they’re going to try next, but the choices always seem just right, like they know what you want before you do.
From the band’s website:
The stars were aligned when childhood friends Nathan Jake Merli (vocals, guitar, hair gel), Christopher Cool (bass, korg, driving), Tanner Cooper (drums, mandolin) decided to put their studies on hold in pursuit of triumphant face-melting. This Charleston-bred trio may be known for their dark, nostalgic pop tunes, but offer a compelling, energetic performance on stage. Their music is reminiscent of bands such as The Cure, Nada Surf, and early Strokes spiked with an experimental blend of Broken Social Scene meets On A Friday. After spending the year touring with acts such as Surfer Blood, Mutemath, & Miniature Tigers, they began to work on their upcoming release with producer Josh Kaler (William Fitzsimmons, Jump Little Children) in December of 2012.
I first caught Heyrocco at the No Control Fest here in Savannah in February 2012. It was a daytime gig, well before the crowds swelled later that night at the Southern Pine Company, and I frankly wasn’t even paying close attention to the stage when they started. But I heard enough to make me want more and made sure to catch a couple of other stellar Savannah shows last fall — one at another No Control Fest and then one upstairs at The Sparetime.
Heyrocco might almost be too good for their own good: they seem comfortable playing in so many styles that they could be stretched too many directions at once. As you can tell in the clips below, Merli can do a lot of different acrobatics with that voice.
But they’re young — the perfect time to experiment and see how the crowds respond.
I’m not the only one who’s this enthusiastic: check out this post by David Stringer at Scene SC.
I’m posting this preview so early because Heyrocco has a busy tour schedule for the next couple of weeks — good vibes in the aether sure can’t hurt. Here’s the lineup:
FEB 1 // CHARLESTON, SC // ROYAL AMERICAN
FEB 2 // COLUMBIA, SC // CONUNDRUM MUSIC HALL
FEB 5 // NASHVILLE, TN // THE BASEMENT
FEB 6 // LOUISVILLE, KY // ZAZOO’S
FEB 7 // CHICAGO, IL // THE DEN THEATRE
FEB 8 // COLUMBUS, OH // TREE BAR
FEB 9 // BROOKLYN, NYC // SHEA STADIUM
FEB 11 // HARRISONBURG, VA // BLUE NILE
FEB 12 // CHAPEL HILL, NC // THE NIGHTLIGHT
FEB 13 // CHARLOTTE, NC // EVENING MUSE
FEB 14 // VALENTINE’S DAY // I LOVE YOU
FEB 15 // GREENVILLE, SC // RADIO ROOM
FEB 16 // ATHENS, GA // FARM 255
FEB 22 // WILMINGTON, NC // THE SATELLITE
MAR 7 // SAVANNAH, GA // SAVANNAH STOPOVER FEST
Those gigs are also under “events” on Heyrocco’s Facebook page.
Heyrocco’s Stopover gig will by an all-ages show at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 8 at Taco Abajo. The face-melting will just have to start early that day.
Here’s Heyrocco’s tight, poppy new single “Elsewhere”, which channels both youthful innocence and lust:
If you don’t have the time or inclination to listen to this whole album, start with “Rave Monks”:
And a great single from 2011:
I took some pictures at No Control and at The Sparetime. Being photogenic isn’t going to hurt.