Show Review

Wolfy and Extra Blue Kind

The Patio

Thursday, Jan. 20

Developing a brand is not an easy task. Most piano pop rock bands are bound to automatically link to groups like Coldplay and Travis, who make writing great songs for piano and jilted romance seem easy. Wolfy plays like they know how they want to sound, but haven't quite figured out how to pull it off yet. Extra Blue Kind performing at the Patio, Jan. 20.

Although obviously influenced by Coldplay (the new Radiohead for ubiquitous comparisons), the trio from Danville, Ind., sound most like a cross between the Delays and Travis. Greg Johnson at the keys and lead vocals has a strangely smooth, feminine quality similar to that of Delays leader Greg Gilbert, who is a more extreme case: Gilbert sounds like a chick.

With Wolfy, the musicianship is there, along with several great songs. In the very near future this will be a fantastic band.

Not having seen Extra Blue kind in over a year, this set was a shocker. In the last two years the band has gone from catchy radio pop purveyors to matured songwriters, where ruminating lyrics now compliment ruminating melodies, rather than being drowned by buoyant pop.

To illustrate how far they've come, in the middle of the show guitarist Dave Barajas said, "This next song is called 'X103.' It goes like this," to intro the rare set appearance of "Let Bygones Be," the song that received a ton of WRZX spins. It was a lot like watching Superdrag play their 1997ish radio hit "Sucked Out." It was performed a little faster to get it over with. This was the only old-timey EBK song performed. However, in their attempt to cycle out the old material, it was great that their regular cover of the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" made it into the fold for this show.

Although the old EBK was a good EBK, the new material showcases a group of guys that have got the quick burning material out of their system and are ready to utilize their patience and abilities to write great records, not just songs.

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