Those of you searching for a disco inferno will not find your glittering debauchery in the prog-rock stylings of discohesive. Mixing deep grooves with hard rock, and synthetic beats with hypnotic textures, discohesive pushes the boundaries with their unique sound.
With Jason Dashow on bass, Jesse Bishop on drums, and Rusty Keenan on guitar and keys, discohesive blends hard rock, surf, trance, and break beats into a progressive rock and rave experience. From the drum and bass of "30 Hours," to the metal of "All Blues Wear Staches," to the reggae of "DNA," discohesive alternates between an array of styles, while maintaining a vibe that keeps the crowd moving.
discohesive celebrated the release of their third studio effort, Ritalin the Sun, last Friday with a show at the Sit & Spin in Seattle. On a stage adorned with large prescription drug bottles and suns, discohesive put out two raucous sets of the good stuff.
The heady "30 Hours" was full of thick grooves that had everyone bumping. Jason's brand of scat-rap, coupled with the syncopated kick of the drum, a hollow, percussive bass, and the eerily thick tone of the keyboards built a huge sound. The song opened with a mellow distortion jam that erupted into pounding bass and drums that moved nicely into the first verse, while the song's tension and release produced an aural swelling that enveloped the room. In the jam towards the end of the tune, Rusty's keyboards added a wash of sound, as well as subtle electronic additions that were as much progressive as they were danceable.
In stark contrast to "30 Hours," "After Me The Flood" kept things going with a catchy surf feel. Hearing a blaring rock song immediately following a pounding trip-hop song caught the audience off guard, but all were quick to warm up to the new sound. While "30 Hours" was held down by the rhythm section, Rusty's surf riffs provided the foundation for "After Me The Flood," leaving Jason and Jessie room to maneuver rhythmically. Rusty's deft opening guitar melody screamed its way into the psyche, threatening to become one of those tunes you can't get out of your head. As the song moved through the verses, it diverged into a more rock-oriented section for a brief jam, before returning to its familiar surf feel. "After Me The Flood" is the rare song that makes the new listener feel as though they're already familiar with it.
The hard rock tune, "A Low Sam," was a showcase for discohesive's unique brand of improvisational metal. Opening with an infectious groove and surreal vocals from Jason, "A Low Sam" quickly built up to a frenzy of heavy riffing. A percussive jam in the middle of the song featured Rusty moving over to his Djembe to augment Jessie's beats, while Jason laid down some atonal bass work reminiscent of Les Claypool. Full of dark overtones, "A Low Sam" is yet another example of how diverse the sounds of discohesive are, while maintaining a funky groove.
discohesive managed to keep everyone rocking and rolling throughout the show with their original, stylistically diverse offerings. They kept things fresh by departing from the classic "comp & solo" oriented jams, instead concentrating more on rhythmic and melodic variations within the given mode for each song. Each member provided a unique interpretation on these melodies, and the jams that arose were astounding.
Founded in 1995, Seattle based discohesive has been hitting the road around the Western U.S. for the past two years, and now stands on the edge of embarking on their first national tour. Starting in mid-September, and snaking their way throughout the U.S., this tour will showcase discohesive's fresh new sound to an audience which, up until now, was unable to share in their new wave of rock. Finally, those of you looking for an improvisational, progressive rock band can stop your search.
For more information on discohesive or the upcoming tour dates, check discohesive.com, or keep it tuned to JamBase.
Words by Scott Dally and Matt Sullivan | Images by Andrea Johnson