Mt St Helens Vietnam Band
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Mt St Helens Vietnam Band

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Excitable indie collective earnestly earns the buzz"

As befits a mixed-race, -gender, and -generation band, this Seattle quintet never settles for the status quo. Bluesy single-note guitar lines compete with jagged chording, the bass thumps out counter-melodies, strained yelping dissolves into pastoral harmony. Yet it all coheres thanks to frontman Benjamin Verdoes' pop instincts and the band's jittery energy. For now, the music is ahead of the ho-hum lovelorn lyrics, and some tracks are fussy rather than fiery, but check the scattershot seven-minute closer, "On the Collar," to hear how Mt. St. Helens explodes expectations. - Spin

"Mt St Helens Vietnam Band"

HQ: Seattle, WA
THE STORY SO FAR: Vocalist/guitarist Benjamin Verdoes says the eclectic, indie collective Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band stemmed from a promise he made to his 10-year-old brother Marshall. "I told him, 'If you work hard at drums, I'll play some shows with you,'" remembers Verdoes, who assumed they'd play a few small shows years later. "I had no idea Marshall [now 12] would become an amazing drummer and that we'd have profound musical chemistry." Verdoes convinced his wife and multi-instrumentalist Traci Eggleston to join along with bassist Jared Price and guitarist/trumpet and moog player Matthew Dammer.
WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW 'EM: AP chose MSHVB for this section two weeks after their first show. Their Pacific Northwest buzz is palpable thanks to complex and unique arrangements and a feel-good atmosphere. "We're a giant art project," says Verdoes. "We're a strange combination of obsessive musicians who have become masters at grade school art work."

"Band to Watch: Mt St Helens Vietnam Band"

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are a new Seattle quintet with a long name. We've been enjoying their self-released Weepy EP, so we thought we'd post something from it. "Dull Reason"'s a an angular, noodling summertime pop jam with hills and valleys and multi-vocal harmonies. The seasoned-sounding collection was recorded by Scott Colburn (Animal Collective, Arcade Fire), who's also recording their full length this fall. Fun fact: Their drummer, Marshall Verdoes, a 13 year-old kid, was adopted by the lead singer/guitarist Benjamin Verdoes and his wife Traci Eggleston-Verdoes, who handles various noisemakers (tambourine, toms, glockenspiel, etc.) in the band. Their first show in Seattle is tonight at Neumos. So, if you're in the area, be a part of it and say hey to the family. But maybe take a listen first.

The band did a series of PSA's because they're good people (with good comic timing), who wanted to school you on things like "Homeostasis," "Boring," and "Technology." You can watch them in that order over here. If you want to hear more music, take a listen at their MySpace.


Weepy EP (self-released)

Mt St Helens Vietnam Band (Dead Oceans, 2009)
Who's Asking
Cheer for Fate
Anchors Dropped
Going on a Hunt
A Year or Two
Albatross Albatross Albatross
Dull Reason
Little Red Shoes
En Fuego
On the Collar



On March 10th, a promise from big brother to little brother will be realized.

Benjamin Verdoes (vocals, guitar, percussion) hoped to motivate his younger brother Marshall to push forward in his drum lessons. Once Marshall got good at drums, Benjamin vowed, they'd start a band together, and now-13-year-old Marshall would have naming rights. That promise is officially made good with the release of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band's self-titled debut full-length.

Co-produced by Scott Colburn (the Arcade Fire, Animal Collective), the album at first blush recalls Wolf Parade; the band's frayed melodic sensibilities and Benjamin's urgent, driven vocals in particular. Of course, Wolf Parade borrowed a few ideas from Modest Mouse, whose beginnings were indebted to the Pixies. This is the sort of musical lineage that creates the foundation for Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band's debut LP. But Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are not solely inspired by their contemporaries; dig a little deeper and strains of Queen's over-the-top epic rock peers through, while exhilarating guitar work that nods towards Thin Lizzy appears in more than a few songs.

Drawing members from Seattle's popular In Praise of Folly, the band comprises the Verdoes brothers, Matthew Dammer (Moog, guitar, trumpet), Jared Price (bass, vocals), and Traci Eggleston (percussion, keys, vocals), who is also married to the elder Verdoes. Without the help of any music--not even a single mp3 to share--Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band stirred up excitement and anticipation in their hometown of Seattle. The band creatively introduced a series of comical PSAs on its MySpace page ("Homeostasis," "Boring," "Technology," and "GDOL- Gradual Death Over Lifetime"), starring various band members with a focus on scene-stealer Marshall.

The media were quick to take notice of the buzz, with Current TV running a segment on the band and Seattle newsweekly the Stranger printing a lengthy feature story. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band performed an in-studio at legendary KEXP, and subsequently had its self-released and homemade Weepy EP added into rotation. Stereogum took notice and christened Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band a "Band to Watch!" All this before Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band had played their first show--a headlining performance in July 2008 with over 500 fans in attendance.

Since that first show, the excitement around Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band has continued to build. In November 2008, Spin included Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band in its "Buzzcatcher" column, saying, "check how 'Dull Reason' and 'Anchors Dropped' ingeniously whipsaw between tense indie raving and harmony-rich pastoralia." More love was garnered by Alternative Press in their "AP&R" section, where they proclaimed, "The Pacific Northwest buzz is palpable thanks to complex and unique arrangements and a feel good atmosphere."