Despite not yet getting the privilege of seeing groups like Typhoon, Genders, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, or Denver— just to name a few— Bend is still sometimes blessed with the likes of Black Prairie, Blind Pilot, Derby and once again, Jan. 23 at Volcanic Theatre Pub, the explosive rock band Tango Alpha Tango.
And they will more than do for now.
Fronted by incessant social media poster Nathan Trueb— who also blogs a ton on their site— Tango Alpha Tango is a smoldering rock band with grisly blues chops punctuated by maniacal flare ups that test the boundaries of guitar solos by, at times, running the risk of of becoming unrecoverable tangents. That's a big part of their brilliance; half of what they do is play a song and the other half is, well, just playing. Familiar with concerts put on by The Black Keys? It's kind of like that, but about ten times hotter.
How is that possible? Easy.
Tango Alpha Tango has something that The Black Keys will never have; namely one of the most savagely intimidating voices in rock and roll. In short, Trueb's a beast on the mic.
Though he isn't burly— stands a slightly less-than-average height and never has a beard— the youthful appearing Trueb dotes on every lyric like his lungs are about to explode. Don't mistake that to mean his voice is deep; it's far from a Clubber Lang knockout punch. Rather Trueb's singing cuts through songs like a butcher's knife. It's sharp and wielded with enough force to sever bone.
Of course there are all kinds of accolades that could be discussed in order to further convince someone to pick up Tango Alpha Tango's album Black Cloud or buy a ticket to one of their shows. They had a second successful stint at SXSW this past year, their album was a top pick for the best of 2013 by Willamette Week (as well as hitting 65 on the Source's list of the top 150), and their song "Aralia Spinosa" made it into a Kyocera commercial.
But even so, all anyone really needs to know is that this hard working band has a guttural authenticity that boils over into pure unadulterated rock and roll. Have a listen: