Young Coyotes were definitely tighter than the recordings I'd heard online. A three-piece ensemble with two percussionists (one playing the bells) and a guitarist who did lead vocals, Coyotes’ set began with “When I Was in the Fire.” Before they started, the lead singer told us he was nervous. But it didn’t show, beyond the otherwise normal quaver to his singing. The dual rhythms created a compelling flow of sound, and it seemed to me as though there was some intentional distortion on the vocals in various songs. We were told that “A Thousand Masks” was an old song, but admitted that the band was really only around four months old, so how old could it be?
The band closed with “Momentary Drowning.” I was struck by how, yes, the songs were clearly tightly structured, but each member had enough leeway within that structure to move and change things ever so slightly so the performances were less likely to become stale for the band -- and its audience.
by tom murphy