In late November I found myself at The Sunset Tavern in Seattle for the sold out record release party for Giants In The Trees – a new band featuring Krist Novoselić of Nirvana fame. The last time I’d been to The Sunset had been to see Fred & Toody of Dead Moon fame. Fred Cole had recently passed away so I wore my Dead Moon shirt in his honor. There were 2 opening bands, Giants In The Trees were not due on stage until after 11 PM. After the 2nd band played, I noticed Krist hanging out backstage near the merchandise table – I bought 2 copies of the debut album “Record Release Party Commemorative” edition (an extra copy for a friend, not an eBay reseller), and wandered over to introduce myself. I talked pretty quickly introducing myself and the 1st thing Krist said was “I like your shirt”. I was thrilled, shook Krist’s hand, and headed back to my spot directly in front of stage. I’d only heard two Giants In The Trees songs – I really was curious about what the evening would be like.
I’ve been to Vancouver, B.C. about a dozen times over the years (maybe more). People not from the Pacific Northwest may look at the close proximity of Seattle, WA and think “There can’t be that much of a difference.”. They’d be wrong. Dead wrong. Once you cross over the Canadian border, you are left with the distinct feeling of being in a foreign land (I jest, ever so slightly). Gone are US Dollars, replaced with coins called “Loonies” and “Toonies”. There is a suave European flavor in the city that sets Vancouver apart from its other Pacific Northwest cities (other than Victoria, also in B.C.). The band Vancouver isn’t from Canada (though they’ve had this record pressed there). They are, however, a bit different.
The debut EP by The Januariez was an incredible mix of punk infused Pac NW Rock n Roll with lyrics that provided a visceral punch to the gut of the listener. Once you got through the 11 minute, 55 second EP, it led to the question “Well, what’s next?”. As it turns out, the band (J-kNee – vox, guitar, songwriter, Tony Rivera – bass, Reno – drums) was busy recording its debut full length record with famed producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Green River). The resulting record is a stunning mix of punk and funky post-punk with a touch of the blues. J-kNee’s vocals leap out of the speakers with an equally impressive musical backing.