Llama Train
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Llama Train

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"These boys were raised on roots rock, Americana and the like. This band is as comfortable switching from their own material to classic covers as they are switching instruments. And expect plenty of both as they tour through straight ahead rock, danceable grooves and intimate acoustics. Before the night is over look for everyone to take a turn on guitar, vocal, drums, keys, harmonica and whatever else they can find. They play well and they play it all, but, despite their relative youth, are experienced enough to know when to jam and when to tighten up." - M. Trevor Higgins - Chattanooga Times Free Press


With all of the new music coming out of Knoxville recently, Dave Epley of local rock band Llama Train hopes the band’s new CD, “Siren Sounds,” doesn’t fall through the cracks. With as much racket as they have made around the Sunsphere City and the southeast, that doesn’t seem likely.
Llama Train, consisting of Jon-Paul Plumlee, Matt Honkonen, Scott Faw and Epley, actually melds the diverse musical styles of Knoxville well. Although primarily a rock band, they aren’t afraid to tread the waters of jammy guitar noodling, pop and Americana.
Epley attributes the diverse sound to their tendency to switch instruments while playing live. However, it seems the days of playing musical chairs might be over.
“It was fun for us, but it didn’t make for a cohesive sound,” he said. They began swapping instruments when the original bassist left the band, and they would take turns playing bass.
“Siren Sounds” is as cohesive as double-sided tape, and a very solid debut. At seven tracks, it’s more than an EP but not quite a full length, leaving the listener wanting more. It was recorded with Don Coffey at his Independent Recorders studio, which could be the reason for much of its sharp edges and clean performances.
It starts with “Green Ghosts,” a straight-ahead rocker with keyboards and vocal harmonies floating through its crunchy guitars. “Days Become Our Nights,” whose keyboard is a highlight of the CD, is a radio-ready pop number, singing, “If the Dali rocked we’d gawk all night/ When his bald head shines we’ll be all right/ Cause then he’d share his holy light/ And turn our days into our nights.”
The guitar lines abound on “Metal Minds,” which contains an irresistible dance beat and some of Llama Trains’ best melodies. The band seems at home with this track as well as the following “Techno,” and both songs show some of their most creative moments. “Delay” sounds like the lost track from R.E.M.’s “Murmur” with its jangly guitars and pop hooks.
“Siren Sounds” will officially be released Saturday night at Llama Train’s CD release party at the Corner Lounge. For all the morning people, the band will perform Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in Clement Hall’s Showcase of Souls.
Llama Train created its own record label to release “Siren Sounds,” called musicalchairs, named after its on-stage tendencies. They decided to make the label for more control of the music, such as song rights and more direct profits, Epley said.
“Eventually I’d like to help out other bands,” he said.
Llama Train will play with Mellow Down Easy and Jon Sexton of Whiskey Scars Saturday at 10 p.m. at the Corner Lounge. Admission is $5. - Zachery Zoeller - The Daily Beacon, Knoxville


Discography

*siren sounds (7 song e.p.) 2005-recorded in Knoxville TN with Superdrag drummer Don Coffey Jr.
*the e.p. has multiple tracks that are played regularly on WUTK 90.3 fm / Knoxville,TN
*music can also be heard at www.myspace.com/llamatrain

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

forming in 2003 at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, llama train has been keeping the Knoxville music scene busy by performing often, and performing well. the train is classified as a rock band, but pulls from a large number of influences ranging from Jeff Tweedy to R.E.M. llama train is not tied down to specific instruments or roles in the band. all four members are song writers, seasoned musicians, and equal influences on the music. very high energy live performances are the main focus of the band, and the focus on the crowd is uncanny. everyone at a llama train show can find something they will love about the evening. ESPN and Levi's jeans recently picked Llama Train over all other knoxville bands to represent the city of Knoxville during this years battle of the bands during the UT vs. Florida game on September 15th.