Saturday, May 30, 2015


Missoula's dad noise quartet Total Combined Weight (they seem to like the term man noise but something about dad noise sits better with me) boasts a lot of things, but they're claim that "we will out eat you anywhere, anytime" is one I caution you from challenging. These dudes are large, menacing beings that fit the cuddly teddy bear cliche to a tee. They'll probably punch me in the arm for saying that. They're the type of dudes who bring a keg to the recording studio, but also take their kids fishing, stroller through the farmer's market, and fill a room with their laughter.

It's easy to see how these dudes coalesce into a tight-nit, sweat soaked, raw, straight ahead, power machine. They're like some smiling-bearded-large-voiced borg who share the same sense of humor and willingness to deliver fist-raising, anthemic song after glorious song. Sure there's a lot of nostalgia brewing here. Some 90s era hardcore tied together with familiar pop-punk arrangements. Simplicity doesn't mean simple, though. They've pulled elements from their past and at times slow things down, pile on heavy riffs and drums, slide into off beat rhythms and quick changes. Familiar and strange all at once, you feel like you still have a 5 CD changer, but you're sitting in a stranger's basement. On the surface, TCW can seem like a group of dudes pounding away on their instruments without much care as to who and how many people dig them. That sentiment couldn't be further from the truth. At their core, their dedicated musicians who can't stomach strings that aren't in tune, amps with a buggered connection (seriously, don't be that amp), missing a fill, or being shocked by a mic. It's an awesome combination to witness: straight-up, loud, powerful music shepherded by an almost collective OCD dedication to polish.Throw in some of the shortest-shorts and those gargantuan smiles, and you're swarmed over by the dad-noise monster known as Total Combined Weight. 

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