The sound is familiar, yet entirely new: For the past three years, Wilderness has been at the forefront of Bend's local music scene with an alt-country noise-pop that wildly merges slamming drumbeats and soaring guitar riffs. But in January, drummer Bradley David Parsons stepped forward, along with Wilderness bass player Nick Graham and his brother Tyler Parsons, to release Corner Gospel Explosion's first album and started to play shows around town.
Although Parsons and Graham continue to play with Wilderness—sometimes with back-to-back shows as an opener/closer for the other band—Corner Gospel Explosion is a stand-alone production, with a sound that, as Source music reviewer Eric Skelton explains, "blends reverb-soaked guitars with heavy bass and splashes of synths to create moody atmospheric rock that would nicely soundtrack the wet and foggy Oregon days that inspire the songs themselves."
Over a self-described "spooky" musical backdrop, Parsons delivers metaphor-heavy lyrics that leverage approachable subjects like grandfather clocks and fish, to weave intricate narratives that grapple with slippery topics including human mortality and love.
A fine rookie year for Gospel Corner Explosion, who plays the Source's Best Of party; 6:30-8 pm, Wednesday, August 12, Atlas Cider Tasting Room, 550 Industrial Way.
2nd place: Larry and His Flask / Wilderness (TIE)