Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We at Total Fest’s mountaintop citadel-based headquarters have got a thing for one-person bands with plural names. It seems to be a winning formula. Well, actually all we can think of is Thrones... and we do like them. Missoula’s Shahs is Tom Helgerson, a transplant with a keyboard, sampler, baseball cap and a freaking fantastic knack for pulling sounds of thin air and turning them into music. It’s got a High Places-y vibe, or maybe even a warmer Suicide sort of vibe to it. But it’s really Tom’s baby and you can tell that by the spookiness, the dancing he does while playing, and seriously good time he has playing. Shahs is a band that makes songs that have more of a jaunty soundtrack vibe to them than a straight up song-only vibe. It’s an entrancing thing to witness.

Part of a two-man wave of relocated Midwesterners, the other half of which is Colin Johnson whose band is called Capricorn Vertical Slum, a Bob Pollard-styled one man rock band, Shahs and some other notable locals (Fag Rag, Skurfs, the Infernal Machine, Thug Nasties, Judgement Hammer) have busily been breathing life into Missoula’s underground rock scene for the past year or so. I first saw them at a local showcase deal at the Elks Lodge in the Fall, and was really blown away by the depth the stuff brings. I saw them about a week ago with Gay Beast and it was no less enthralling. I think you’ll dig it. We do.


Kari Workman said...

the Limbs too. plural/single.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Kari.