In my short but hectic life, I’ve experienced many types of buses—rowdy school buses, smelly Septa buses, Chinatown buses filled with strange people and chickens—but Philadelphia’s Busses (that’s Busses with 3 S’s) are far and away my favorite. A homegrown act that’s been causing a ruckus (spinning its wheels?) for 2 ½ years now, Busses have patented a sound that is simultaneously art-y and rocking, moody and dramatic, impassioned, sprawling, dance-y, and shoegaze-y—not to mention fully capable of putting large audiences in a trance. Which is cool with me, because these guys inspire some serious, eyes-closed, rocking out.
In the past 2 years, I’ve seen the band probably a half dozen times—opening for everyone from Oxford Collapse (R.I.P.) to White Rabbits to local boys The Chimeras—and each time, they absolutely killed it. Now, they’ve finally earned their time in the spotlight, as they celebrate the release of their self-titled, debut LP. Post-punk and alt-rock fans alike will find plenty to love in these epic, twisted concoctions—like “Stationary” which marries moving bass lines with stop-start percussion and front man Dave Brett’s sexy falsetto (I’m serious—the man has some pipes!)—and “Methods and procedures,” which segues from slow, sweet harmonies to horn-laced midtempo rock to all-out guitar jamming. No matter how you slice it, Busses are one wild ride!
Check them out this Thursday, May 13, at The Khyber. Also noteworthy: openers Imperial China, a DC-based math rock unit who explode with jagged riffs, drum rolls, and surprisingly art-y synth beats. Their most recent LP, Phosphenes, is chock full of fiery melodies and unexpected turns that should be even more visceral live. Corey Duncan (of Oh! Pears) and Jeff Zeigler (of Arc in Round) round out the bill. Should be a great night for local music!
Busses CD Release. With Imperial China, Corey Duncan and Jeff Zeigler. 5/13/10 at the Khyber, 56 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA. 9 p.m., $8, 21+