Bendites who think a typical night out for live music must involve folk, will get a pleasant shock should they stumble into a show by psych-rock group All you All.
Multi-instrumentalist John Has-Ellison, vocalist Maggie Surgeon and drummer Anthony Trefry pile layer upon layer of Jane's Addiction-like vocals, Jamiroquai-esque acid jazz synth, pop beats reminiscent of New Radicals and just about every other genre you can think of. And yes, that includes hip hop. So far, this has resulted in two well received EP's as well as a second place finish in the 2012 edition of Bend's Last Band Standing competition. Quite a nice start.
People patient enough to wade through All You All's EPs Fluorescence and Incandescence, will find several gems including the track "Oregon Burner." In that track, pop guitar commiserates with haunting synth creating a chaotic but lovely journey that All You All felt deserved some visuals. Just like with their music, they couldn't stop themselves from layering scenes throughout the three- minute long video. A strobe-lit attic recording session is paired with semi-translucent scenes of cruising around Bend. There are also candid shots of the band smiling. It feels heroin chic and it's awesome.
A typical All You All show is dark. Front man Has-Ellison digs in on his guitar with his head tipped down brandishing his standard flatcap while Surgeon belts out her vocals, eyes closed. And given the band's atmospheric vibe, it's the crowd's reaction to their music that stands out at their concerts. In short, they don't just stand there—they dance. Whether it's Has-Ellison breaking from prescribed instrumentation for a guitar solo or the peek-a-booing pop beats, concertgoers find a reason to move. During All You All's LBS semi-final round performance this summer, heads were bouncing and feet were moving for a blazing 20-minute set that screamed by.
Currently, All You All is working on a double-sided single that they hope to release in the next couple of months, with a full album due out sometime next year. According to Has-Ellison, while the title song should be radio ready, it's the experimentation of the B-side that may turn a few heads.
"The song is experimental, kind of ambient with dark gloomy tones and instruments," said Has-Ellison in an interview with the Source. "There's these weird bell chimes and stuff, and it's not exactly a pop format. The working title is 'Grime.' That's what we were trying to make people feel—a little grimy and out of place. Uncomfortable."
If you're a fan of the unconventional, then the music of All You All is already right up your alley. If, however, more traditional music is your thing, you will be surprised at how All You All mixes in enough mainstream sound to bridge the gap between what you're used to and what you're not.
Keep checking our BENT blog at our new website, bendsource.com for information on upcoming All You All performances.