Back to Archives


A well constructed indie rock puzzle

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

You know how it’s obvious we’re moving up in the world of music, Tacoma?

We’ve landed our first Portland band.

Kind of.

Portland’s Bumtech, a two-piece indie rock band made up of Sharon Schloss and John Walterscheid — who not only happen to be musicians with a similar love of mixing drum machine beats and tight loops with guitar centered, New Wavy compositions, but (oh by the way) happen to have been a couple for nine years — are quickly becoming one of the South Sound’s own. Not only will the band be back in our neck of the woods this weekend, Saturday, Nov. 29 at Le Voyeur in Olympia, but they’ve been invited to play the Bob’s Java Jive Tacoma Christmas part in late December, basically because the band has played the coffee pot on South Tacoma Way so many times and dropped so many jaws that the Jive has become one of the band’s many homes away from home.

“I like to be new places, and see new people. I’m starting to feel local everywhere,” says Schloss of Bumtech’s touring and love of it, which has created a widespread fanbase for the band far away from PDX. “Tacoma is probably one of the more enthusiastic places we play.”

“We’re big fans of Americana and roadside attractions,” adds Walterscheid, of Bumtech’s particular affinity for the Jive. “We try to go into every show without expectations. Portland actually seems harder than most places to get through to people. There are way more bands per capita.”

What makes Bumtech so endearing, and thus so very adoptable, is probably the same thing that makes Schloss and Walterscheid click as a couple. The music just seems natural, and the various parts of the puzzle fit together so seamlessly. You can hear it on the band’s last record, Beware of D-G, and especially songs like “Scrotessa Weanis in the Workplace” and “Got Yer Nose”— which purvey a musical playfulness that’s impossible to deny, and the band’s live set — which packs a danceable punch capable of infecting the tiny room in the back of Le Voyeur in mere moments.

“Having a small band was an artistic decision,” says Walterscheid.

“A lot of people say we sound great, but tell us we need a drummer,” adds Schloss, noting that’s never going to happen. “Creatively, we’re pretty much on the same page. It’s pretty natural. We just try to play as much as possible.

Whatever Bumtech is doing, it’s working.

Bumtech will play Le Voyeur in Olympia on Friday, Nov. 29. It’ll be as good a place as any to work off the stuffing, but the reasons for showing up go far beyond that. Bumtech, plain and simple, and whether Schloss and Walterscheid feel like locals to you or not, is a band not to miss. 

[Le Voyeur, with Blanket, Emily Lacy, and Sundance Kids, Friday, Nov. 29, 9:30 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]

comments powered by Disqus