Once in awhile, a band hits the scene with a force like some astral phenomenon striking the sky; you can’t ignore it and its colorful, startling resonance leaves you looking for more. Maybe it’s no coincidence, then, that rock trio Green Flash has the name that it does: The band thrusts well-manicured musical ass-kickings seemingly delivered with a slow smile. Edgy. Raw. Intoxicatingly warm. Carly Flies churns out both heavily distorted electric guitar riffs and patient, clean fingerpicking embedded with drummer Peter Wallner’s hard-driving beats—with each citing Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine as influences. Then there’s bassist Raya Heffernan, who pilots the melodies and dramatic swagger with unrestrained, piercing vocals that wrap the artful package together like a shiny bow. The band, which started as a duo last year and solidified with Wallner in April, already has buzz around it and plays Thursday, Oct. 22 with Kurt Vile & The Violators.
“Initially we knew that if we just started playing, things would fall into place,” Heffernan says. “And I think that’s what happened.” Recently piecing together its first home recordings, the band builds on each member’s songwriting vision. “We try to have a purity and a passion to be the best band, and not simply a project of one individual,” Wallner adds. And that formula has worked. “The Drowning” slowly unfolds with digital effects filling in the spaces as drum and guitar do a syncopated tango, while Heffernan’s vocals cry out beneath it all with reverb elasticity. Meanwhile on “#666,” surf rock guitar weaves the spine next to Heffernan’s minimal yet powerful wails. With a 7-inch set to be recorded with Josh Alper (The Lowdown, Whysp mainstay) at the Dead Cow Studio this month, Green Flash will refine its debut tracks. And while there’s an unpredictable nature to the experimental songs, they have that magic of making you sing along. After all, it’s all about a sense of community—within the band and in relation to its audience. “Come to our shows,” Wallner ends our chat with an invitation to the public. “We just wanna hang out.” | Linda Koffman
info: 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $10/door. 429-6994.