The Derby--Los Feliz, CA
March 28, 2005
"I don't know if we can handle all of your yelling and moving around," joked Arshak Alozian, bassist for Los Angeles-based quartet, the Pacific, as he scanned the audience at the velvet draped, trendily nostalgic LA nightspot, the Derby. The crowd sat at the round tables that surrounded the Derby's large circular bar and chuckled nervously.
The Pacific was the unlikely opening act for one of the club's well-attended burlesque shows. It was a weird context in which to see a band premiere songs from their new CD, but, with their enchanting pop melodies, their musical chops and their arresting stage presence, the foursome managed to win the crowd over.
The Pacific is possibly the least American American band ever. The most obvious comparison is to the Beatles. The band wears their fab four obsession on their sleeves, even sporting matching Beatle haircuts and thrift store-bought military looking jackets and even closed their show with an obligatory Beatles cover. However, unlike other Beatles-influenced bands I could mention, this band adds some interesting ingredients into their arresting musical mix. The Pacific reminded me alternately of The Who and the Stone Roses. Curt Barlage, a tall, thin Asian guitarist and lead singer, has a great voice and a very arresting stage presence. The rest of the band (Mike Minosky on lead guitar, Geoff Reiley on drums and Arshak Alozian on bass) is both musically competent and fun to watch, and their songs were catchy and clever. If there is any justice in the music world (which, considering which recording artists currently make tons of cash, is doubtful), in a couple of years, every smart 15 year old girl in the country will have posters of these guys on her wall.
Photo by Bret Miller