Bike Thief
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Bike Thief

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Experimental

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We’re a bit late to the party, as this talented young quintet released EPs in 2011 and 2012 that never hit our radar at the farm. They received plenty of appreciation, but thus far, no huge breakthrough hits. That just may be about to change.




Art rock? Folk rock? Progressive rock? Theatrical rock? Not really sure what label fits Bike Thief most comfortably, but it quickly becomes clear that they offer a distinctive blend of music and vocals that deserves to be on your radar.

At times their music reminds me of two excellent Alt-rock artists in Arcade Fire and The Decemberists; it’s creative, robust rock with a distinctive theatrical flair. For any old-timers reading along, I also felt a Renaissance or very early Genesis kind of vibe as many of the songs are adeptly dotted with precisely placed intricate riffs, runs and accents.

Refreshingly, in contrast to the majority of offerings flooding the current mainstream landscape, Stuck In A Dream is a true album, not just a collection of unrelated singles. There’s a nice easy ebb and flow to the album that connects all of the tracks and makes it more enjoyable to listen to.

I’ve always enjoyed rock music delivered with a healthy dose of violin and this offering is no exception. The album opens with a short, dark violin-powered instrumental; thereafter, strings are nicely weaved between creative guitars and keyboards throughout the album.

The vocals are different. Different in a good way. Again, I got a more theatrical feel from Febian Perez’s vocals, and he boasts a nice range. It wouldn’t work for every band’s music but seems the perfect fit for Bike Thief.

My two favorite tracks bookend the album. The opening track, “Ghosts Of Providence” is an upbeat rocker powered by aggressive drums and soaring keys. On the other end of the spectrum (and album), “Stuck In A Dream” is a maddening ten minute journey that is an absolute musical feast punctuated by chilling piano and scorching guitars.

Between the two aforementioned songs, we are treated to a captivating musical journey that is definitely worthy of a trip. Grab Stuck In A Dream from iTunes below and find out for yourself.

Rock On!
Cretin - rarasfarm


Last month, Portland neo-folk band, Bike Thief, self-released their debut full-length album, Stuck in a Dream. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the perfect time!

I’m not the first to say they sound like Arcade Fire. In fact, they mention AF in their influences and biography. But it’s accurate, and not a slight. Arcade Fire is a giant monster-machine of a band because they did something so well that EVERYONE caught on.

Fittingly, Bike Thief's first single “The Burning Past,” has an anthemic build, taking a typical indie folk/rock approach, then layering it with yell-sing group vocals, a range of percussive instruments, and heavily featured strings. I’m always a sucker for a rad string section, which according to the visually-stunning music video was performed by solemn paper mice.

The entire album offers a dynamic range of sounds and instruments, cleverly arranged by the band, guided by frontman and founder Febian Perez. Most of the members of Bike Thief are multi-instrumentalists, but they also have a whole slew of notable guest artists--they even feature the vocals of Portland Boychoir and Luz Mendoza of Y La Bamba dn Tiburones (on “We Once Knew Ya").

Stuck in a Dream is definitely worth listening to if you’ve ever been into bands like the Decemberists, or the aforementioned Arcade Fire. Stream the album in its entirety here. If you're from outside Portland, catch Bike Thief in a city near you as they'll embark on a national tour for the month of October, and part of November.

Without further ado, enjoy the world premier of Bike Thief's brand new video for theer second single off Stuck in a Dream, "Ghosts of Providence."

- Chandler Strutz - deli


I struggle with fitting bands into genres.

With Bike Thief, I don’t even bother trying.

Singer and guitarist Febian Perez described Bike Thief’s music as moody rock, or “post-rock-experimental-indie rock with psychedelic elements and baroque-orchestral-indie-pop-folk-rock elements.”

Some could call the variation of sounds unfocused, unrefined and erratic.

Others could call it versatile, well-rounded and skilled.

Regardless of how the band’s various musical genres are perceived, Bike Thief melded these seemingly opposite musical styles together when they performed at Last Exit Live on Monday night.

Bike Thief’s set list was a peculiar and beautiful tapestry, showcasing their ability to cross genre lines without losing talent along the way. The Portlanders’ live performance stayed true to Perez’s description and crossed from the realm of hard rock into classical, with instances of punk and psychedelic rock.

The show lighting was remarkable as well. The band’s setup included a fractal drawn on the bass drum that glowed bright pink beneath a black light, as did hidden embroidery included in Perez’s suit. Blue, red and green lights flashed in pace with the music, and the entire room turned black when I shut my eyes to focus on the music.

At times, I felt like I was listening to singles from Beirut, Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective (pre-“Merriweather Post Pavilion”) and hardcore Fall Out Boy. Other times, it felt as if all the above bands were thrown into Audacity and turned into one giant mix track.

The show was well-coordinated, with upbeat songs fading into trance songs. This was no surprise in the live show, as Perez said they are a band that enjoys creating one cohesive album rather than an LP full of singles.

“We definitely like the whole orchestral-theatrical sound and that requires a story,” Perez said. “The story of the album, the lyrics, they all tie in with everything.”

I am eagerly awaiting their next full-length studio album to see if they continue to embrace a sort of anti-genre or to see if they end up going in a single, more focused direction. - METROnome


Although the Bunk Bar lives up to its name in appearing to be your average dive, on nights like this past Saturday the place known for its sandwiches was much more than that. The right amount of quaintness provided a packed crowd in which I could get a beer relatively easy. Most important, the music provided by Bike Thief and Battleme is what made the night far more than average. Both bands gave plenty of variety to keep your attention even if you did acid every night for the past fortnight.

Bike Thief has a unique blend of simplicity with a big band depth. The violin gives a bluegrass ring while the rhythm sections comes in heavy and demanding that will drive the song in classic rock fashion. And for the bass lovers, they will give you more than your average dose by cranking the bass up to its appropriate level (really fucking high!) The result of these elements is songs that are reminiscent of Arcade Fire and the Decemberists with their own originality to each song.

This rings true for their slow and uptempo numbers. “Ghost of Providence” is a defining track for Bike Thief, and they saved it for second to last. And it was clearly a crowd favorite as the drummer played the opening beat and the electric guitar was slowly strummed. To go along with their upbeat music, they were a lot of fun to watch as well. There are six members of the band and each of them played so naturally on stage they looked as if there wasn’t an audience at all. I’m not saying they didn’t acknowledge us, because they did, but the music was sole reason they wanted to be there. - Bridge Town Sound


A showcase of the finest Portland talent will be on display at the Wonder Ballroom this Friday. The quickly popularizing, post folk, indie rock band Bike Thief will be featured as the night's opening act. The band's arrangement of instruments carry a deep sound reminiscent of modern folk bands such as the Decemberists and Arcade Fire but given their own flavor due to a diverse viola player, thriving bass lines, and gloriously inspirational songs written to tell a story (as clearly indicated on "Ghost of Providence Pt. 1"). These features amongst many others are the fine reasons why Bike Thief has proven to be one of the must see Portland acts of 2013.

They will be opening for two other PDX bands, Lost Lander, the orchestrated indie rockers headlined by the quirky duo turned psychedelic folkers Shook Twins. Show is Friday doors open at 8PM, $12 advance. - Bridge Town Sound


Local folk musicians, The Shook Twins, performed Friday night at the Wonder Ballroom along with Bike Thief and Lost Lander. It was a mellow night at the Wonder Ballroom with only half the room filled. This was a shame because all three of the local bands who played were immensely talented.

Febian Perez, the creator behind Bike Thief, is a recent transplant to Portland. Perez came to Portland last summer and formed Bike Thief. After a few months, they released an EP titled Ghost of Providence, which is a blend of indie folk and rock. The band plans to record a full-length album later this year. - Be Portland


A significant breath signals the opening of Ghost of Providence, the debut EP from local folk outfit Bike Thief. By the second listen, it sounds like a breath of fresh air.

Though the EP was only released on Jan. 1, Bike Thief has already garnered acclaim around the city, including winning The Deli Portland’s Band of the Month for December 2012.

Bike Thief will be celebrating their recent success by playing The Deli’s showcase this Friday at Mt. Tabor Theater with The Lower 48 and Eidolons.

Numerous write-ups and a general buzz—along with an indie-rock/post-folk track list that caters perfectly to the tastes of the ever-supportive Portland music scene—have all led to a number of shows and opportunities for Bike Thief, including a summer tour with a couple of their labelmates on River Jones Music.

The band’s founder and leader, Febian Perez, assures me this was no accident, and that Bike Thief was completely professional from the start. Perez knew what he wanted out of the band back when he was the only member and living in Austin, Texas.

“I was looking for people before I moved here; I had a Craigslist ad,” Perez said. “I had about 100 auditions when I got here and I tried everybody out in late June.”

There was a distinct pause.

“And none of those people worked out.”

Perez moved from Austin to Portland after these failed auditions, though he started preparing three months beforehand so that he would at least have a place to begin Bike Thief, for which he had a very particular vision.

It was tumultuous at the beginning, and Perez admits that he’s a bit obsessive when it comes to his sound—and, by extension, the pieces that make it—though it comes from a place of passion.

“I want to make [our music] as true to the sound I hear in my head [as possible],” Perez said.

“Exactly,” echoed Dylan McGown, Bike Thief’s drummer.

McGown’s sentiments parallel those of the rest of Perez’s recruits, who all underwent an extensive evaluation before joining Bike Thief. Perez likened the audition process to the courtship before a relationship. The vetting was an arduous but necessary process.

“I tried out three times,” McGown said. “I knew the music was there and that’s why I wanted to be in the band, and I didn’t really realize it was such a process, but after he told me the reasons why, I understood.”

“I needed to make sure that [everyone’s] personality matched mine,” Perez said. “I needed to make sure they understood the dynamics.”

It’s admirable to see the work put into crafting each piece, especially when one considers that there are eight performers working together in this ensemble.

Three vocalists (Tiffany Pays, Stacy Moore, Maya Dagmi) back up Perez, and they are joined by Brandon Elhaj on bass, Charlie Barker on guitar, Greg Allen on violin and viola and McGown on drums.

Bike Thief demonstrates a dedication to collaboration that produces delicate artistry like the songs on Ghost of Providence, a mostly haunting and reflective piece.

“All the music is kind of—not to say depressing—kind of somber-feeling,” Elhaj said. “But that’s [something] nice about the EP for me, that all the sound is centered around the dark and cryptic.”

Despite the somewhat morose tone, the album remains easily accessible through its lyricism and genre-crossing instrumentals. “Battles” mixes the twang of folk with classical strings to create an eclectic sound underneath the atmospheric, brooding mood created by the vocals, which come back around and pair nicely with the strings.

It’s a full-bodied, enjoyable song to kick off the album, and it definitely shows strong promise for the band as they expand their base.
The titular tracks “Ghost of Providence” parts one and two do fine telling their story, the first setting the atmosphere for a joyous yet ultimately disconcerting message, the second veering into an almost authoritarian, dystopian realm.

Tonally, Bike Thief conveys the message that awareness of our past—and present—is the only way we stop anything, but the lyrics occasionally lack the specificity to match the music.

The two most lyric-heavy tracks (“Look Up” and “Perfect Demise”) are on totally opposite sides of the spectrum—not qualitatively, though I do find more to connect with in “Look Up”s more youthful, less jaded take on the subject of love.

Even with its sweeping classical strings—one of my favorite arrangements on the record—“Perfect Demise” still brought me to a place of pity rather than empathy. This could have been a stylistic choice, but then the lyrics should have pushed even further in that direction.

“Look Up” may be more of a good-time cautionary tale, but the folk atmosphere works with the song’s subject matter of love just being trouble.

Overall, Ghost of Providence is a magnificent debut, and it has me hooked on yet another up-and-comer in the Portland music scene. Catch them at Mt. Tabor Theater on Feb. 8; you’ll want to see Bike Thief live.

- Portland State Vanguard


at river jones music (you remember michelle blades or steff Koeppen and the articles) are doing something. Some new releases still got the sham exit for the past year, others like the following for this year only. including a band, which competes in the following occupations: Febian perez (lead vocals / guitar / piano / organ), Charles Barker (backing vocals / guitar / ukulele / mandolin / glockenspiel), all greg (backing bocals / viola / violin) jim cuda (drums / harmonium) and erica shafer (bass). support was given to the fives, under the bike thief compete, understand some more musicians, among other things, the trombone on the accordion, on french horn, and cello. You're not seeing the direction in which this story is moving here. associated with acoustic agility harmony singing, always a lot of drive and hip movement on board. sing along to encourage the strings act, but also excellent in the background when it comes to the jam. with "ghost of providence" was stationed in portland tied her debut at 04 january released. the 6tracker draws the circle of beautiful ballads, live from the excellent qualities of the vocal arts consuming Febian perez until pattern examples folk rock, as the bandaged in full regalia. bike thief sprang from the principled thought of her current executive board, which was some time bassist in various bands that he the music that he really wanted to play, have been in my head, but under the circumstances could not bring to the stage. the movie title of "the bicycle thieves" was quickly converted and the first perez began writing songs. After its move to portland he also collected immediately, in the summer of 2012, a man who, the bike thief should form. two months intensive working have come to deliver a very sophisticated ep. You can listen to me, but also for band camp, there should also be possible to purchase the venal. unfortunately sat raise Rounding no complete picture of the band.
- Dasklienicum


Another local Portland band I came across recently is Bike Thief. They have a sound that mixes post-rock with folk elements to make a post-folk type of music. Bike Thief’s latest album is called Ghost of Providence and it is a great sounding album. There are all types of instrumentation in this band from guitars to pianos to violin to cello and accordion. Not only is the music well put together but the vocals are very powerful. Check out Ghost of Providence down below. My favorite tracks are “Battles” and “Look Up.” - Killing Sasquatch


It’s good to hear quality, organic instrumentation on a record these days, as the world becomes more saturated with electronic music such as “dub step” and “trap”. Bike Thief has released their first EP, and it’s just what you need if you love songwriting and you’re looking for a break from bass and glitches.
The six song EP, Ghost of Providence, begins by drawing you in with “Battles” as the steady acoustic guitar vamp ushers in the backing vocals, eventually giving way to the string section. It crescendos with the strings and builds some tension before letting you back down easy as it returns to the vamp. This is a great song. Febian Perez’s voice reminds you a lot of Nathan Willett from Cold War Kids. Great voice.
The most impressive thing on this record is probably the use of the string section. I can’t imagine what this album would have been without the strings. Actually, I can. Before Febian came to Portland from Austin, TX we had begun to correspond via email. I heard “Battles” and fell in love. It wasn’t what it is now, but it was more than enough to make me want to make music with Mr. Perez. And now that he and his band mates are here in Portland, Bike Thief is taking off. The band has only been in Portland for about 5 months now, and already has opened for Cherry Poppin’ Daddies at Dante’s, and you definitely get the sense that these guys are really going somewhere.
Ghost of Providence was engineered and mixed by Jim Cuda, mastered by Nick Moon, and recorded at Big Red Studios in Corbett, OR (where Pearl Jam recorded the drums for TEN) and is available now at
http://riverjonesmusic.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-of-providence - Train Wreck'd Society


It took more than a bike for Febian Perez, lead vocalist/guitar/bass/piano of new Indie/Rock band Bike Thief, to end up in Portland, Oregon, where he formed the subject of today’s Music Court post, but after creating an open triangle with his musical travels (Rhode Island to Texas to Portland) he has settled nicely into a sprawling Indie act reminiscent of the ornate sound of bands like Arcade Fire.

Bike Thief was named for the famous Italian film of a similar name – “The Bicycle Thieves” – and, in a sense, the opening track of Bike Thief’s incipient EP Ghost of Providence, which was released last week on River Jones Music label, is reminiscent of some of the expansive compositions of Italian composers.

“Battles” begins with a Western-style progression styled like “Rocky Raccoon” by The Beatles, and flows into a duskily dulcet collection of voices. The beginning triggers thoughts of Danger Mouse and Italian composer Daniele Luppi’s Spaghetti-Western inspired album Rome, and it is because of this that I find the initial Italian connection defensible. The song continues with the twang of the lead guitar and moaning strings (nice work by Greg Allen). Perez’s airy croon snuggly fits the piece. His voice is made for his music – go figure! The song culminates into an instrumental medley. It’s a refreshing opening track, one that travels quickly and leaves the listener wanting more.

“Ghost of Providence Pt. 1? is the more, and it is also the best track on the debut EP. This track beings more like a traditional Indie/Pop song (like that of Mumford and Sons), but it grows into something more elaborate. An acoustic riff and well-formed drum track (by Jim Cuda) leads into staccato strings. The strength of the song is in the repetitive lyric. I applaud the decision to pair the vocals with the strings. Equal credit here to the rest of the band: Charlie Barker – Vocals/guitar and Erica Shafer-Bass.

You can check out the rest of the EP on Bike Thief’s Bandcamp. Make sure to Like them on Facebook and Twitter. - Music Court Blog




Bike Thief and their anti-folk anthems seem to have appeared out of thin air. The group relocated to Portland last summer and has since been weaving complex and intimate songs at a handful of venues and working up to their debut release, Ghost of Providence. The release captures sounds of deterioration and rejuvenation through crooning vocals and stirring string movements nuanced by post-rock undertones and lyrical hooks. Songs range from the eerie ballads such as, Battles and Perfect Demise to folk rock gems like Ghost of Providence pt. 1 and Look Up culminating with Ghost of Providence pt. 2, a powerful and ethereal closer which helps to frame the collection and draws the album to a close. Ghost of Providence is now available for stream and download on Bike Thief's bandcamp page. Check it out and keep an eye out for a release show in the coming months. – Benjamin Toledo - Deli Magazine


Discography

http://www.bikethief.bandcamp.com

TBA- Bike Thief 2015/16

Stuck in a Dream- Bike Thief 2014

Ghost of Providence (EP)- Bike Thief 2013

Photos

Bio

Bike Thief is:

Febian/Chad/Steve/Patrick plus a revolving cast of live and studio musicians.

"Bike Thief’s set list was a peculiar and beautiful tapestry, showcasing their ability to cross genre lines without losing talent along the way. The Portlanders’ live performance stayed true to Perez’s description and crossed from the realm of hard rock into classical, with instances of punk and psychedelic rock.

The show lighting was remarkable as well. The band’s setup included a fractal drawn on the bass drum that glowed bright pink beneath a black light, as did hidden embroidery included in Perez’s suit. Blue, red and green lights flashed in pace with the music, and the entire room turned black when I shut my eyes to focus on the music.

At times, I felt like I was listening to singles from Beirut, Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective (pre-“Merriweather Post Pavilion”) and hardcore Fall Out Boy. Other times, it felt as if all the above bands were thrown into Audacity and turned into one giant mix track.

The show was well-coordinated, with upbeat songs fading into trance songs. This was no surprise in the live show, as Perez said they are a band that enjoys creating one cohesive album rather than an LP full of singles."
-Amanda Lacasse




Accomplishments:

-We've played nearly all of the top tier venues in Portland such as Wonder Ballroom, Doug Fir(8 headline shows there), Mississippi Studios, Star Theater and Crystal Ballroom. Our Portland shows have constantly ranged from really good turn outs to sold out. (80-150 turn outs)

-Some bands/artists we've opened for: Saint Motel/Finish Ticket/The Weeks/Woven Hand/Pontiak/Mary Lambert/Roadkill Ghost Choir/Battleme/The Shook Twins/Lost Lander

-Tours: March 2013 and Sept-November 2014

- Self- Managed, Unsigned and are owners of their own professional recording studio called The Hallowed Halls (http://www.thehallowedhalls.com/)




Band Members