Cannons and Clouds, Sound & Shape
Press Club | Sacramento
Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008
This was one of those shows that I had looked forward to for weeks. I randomly stumbled across the Myspace page of Sound & Shape and immediately knew I had to be there. It turned out that they weren’t the only band worth seeing; I was in for a pleasant surprise.
Before San Francisco-based group Cannons and Clouds even took the stage I was impressed. Any band that has an electric harp onstage (the stringed kind, not a harmonica) and wears nerdy, thick-rimmed glasses is OK in my book. For the next 30 minutes or so frontman Zachary Blizzard confidently boasted his deep, rich vocal style over their blend of pop-infused indie-rock. The higher ranged vocals of electric harpist Brittany Brunken sounded fantastic as the two harmonized seamlessly. Drummer Steven Medd sang quite a bit as well, further thickening the sound. What really made this band stand out was the addition of the electric harp. It sounded beautiful, elegant and traditional. It no doubt put an interesting and unique twist on the band’s music. It’s simple, yet engaging—not too complex or over played, anyone could enjoy it. Think Iron & Wine meets Death Cab for Cutie with a little Band of Horses thrown in for good measure. Cannons and Clouds seemed to have a decent amount of friends in attendance, and I was surprised and delighted to see at least a couple of people singing along during their songs.
When the Nashville rock trio Sound & Shape took the stage and blasted into their set, the vibe immediately changed to a much more rockin’ one and the main focus became the incredibly fast and precise guitar playing of singer/guitarist Ryan Caudle. Drummer Jerry Pentecost must have had a few Red Bulls before the show because the amount of energy that he played with was quite intense. He was flipping and throwing his sticks all over the place while making extreme variations of the stereotypical “rock face.” David Somerall rounded out the sound very nicely with his locked in, ever so groovy bass playing. For just three guys, Sound & Shape have a huge sound that seems to lack nothing except more attention and recognition. If bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Wolfmother can, it’s safe to say that Sound & Shape might be the next to hit it big.
The show ended on a high note with Pentecost jumping onto his drum stool and back onto his kit perfectly in time with his band mates distorted final chords. It was a great wrap up to the evening and my associates and I had been sufficiently entertained.