Recently, I saw an announcement that the band Mountain Kid was re-forming with a new lineup, and that Eliot Arriaza of Bomb Atomic fame was going to be taking over the four-string duties.
I remember watching this guy play bass in my old coffee shop back when he was just a teenager and thinking A: Why the heck is someone playing bass in a coffee shop? and B: This kid is going to be a major talent.
Well, there were always musicians hanging around that place back then, and so I guess it wasn’t so weird, and yeah — the man can play bass. I decided to see what was going on with this band first chance I got — which was last Saturday out on the patio of Fort Worth’s The Republic Street bar.
When I got to Republic Street, the band — featuring Addison White (vocals/guitar), Nicholas Wittwer (guitar), Eliot Arriaza (bass) and Josh Banks (drums) — was just setting up.
Local rock stars Parker Anderson, Hayden Miller, Zach Tucker and Joe Cannariato were milling about, and Arriaza was trying to duct tape his strap back onto his bass. There was a cool breeze blowing across the patio as I pulled up a seat next to Anderson and watched the circus unfold.
Mind you, there were sound issues, there were amp issues, there were duct tape issues — yet in spite of it all, there was a certain pop-up show rock ’n’ roll appeal to the thing. The rhythm section was driving, the guitars distorted yet tasteful and the vocals emotive.
“I just want to give people lots of albums that they can listen to,” White said. “A lot of the songs, they kind of get quiet and dark and sad, then they get big and loud and hopeful — I call our genre drama-rock, indie’s evil twin.”
Indeed, the band seems more studio-driven rather than having daydreams about life on the road.
“We’re going to stay regional,” White said. “We might tour if the stars align properly — but some of us have job-jobs.”
Drummer Josh Banks agreed.
“Honestly, we had the opportunity to record and release a bunch of creative music, and that’s what we’re taking advantage of,” he said.
“We have like home obligations and stuff, but creative juices are constantly flowing so why now record ’em — get ’em out.”
The band has been recording at Joe Burton’s studio in Benbrook, and an EP release (as yet unnamed) is eminent. The studio is informally called The Barn.
The band related how comfortable they were recording there, and how at ease they are playing in this band. Indeed the chemistry these guys have — on- and off-stage — is obvious. These guys all have a strong sonic pedigree, and they all seem to work well together.
“The new sound of this lineup is very comfortable, very natural — oddly enough considering we all comprise of different projects coming together,” Banks said. “It’s been very smooth, the new songs, the orchestration of them; it’s very fluid.
“It’s hard for me to have a take on previous Mountain Kid recordings because I wasn’t there for that. But the consensus has been that it flows better — it’s more cohesive. “
You can see for yourself on July 8 at the Grotto. The band will be headlining, no word on cover yet.
And while there is something to be said for climate control and the more stable audio you find indoors, there is certainly a charm to seeing a band under the stars at a joint like the Republic Street bar.
- July 8
- The Grotto, 517 University Drive, Fort Worth