The Legend of Bigfoot have a comfy position in the Tacoma music scene. Segregated though this scene may sometimes be, the Legend of Bigfoot successfully split time between heavier venues like Hell's Kitchen and comparably more indie places like The New Frontier. Their sound is loud, but not really metal; it's poppy, but not indie-rock-sappy. Rather, the band's devotion is to old-school hard rock behemoths like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath.
And yet they avoid nostalgic clichés by smartly updating these tropes for the current indie rock-informed climate. For all their big riffs and plodding rhythms, The Legend of Bigfoot manages to escape unflattering comparisons to their hard rock forefathers.
The Legend of Bigfoot formed in early 2009 out of the ashes of Sons of Ivan, a band that had similar psychedelic rock aspirations, but leaned more in the direction of space rock and general brain disintegration.
"(Sons of Ivan) was kind of just taking a break," says guitarist Mike Krushka. "I ran into Jason (Flom, from Apathy in Bloom) and asked him if he wanted to be part of this side project, and that's pretty much how it got started. We found the other guys on craigslist and got the band a-rolling."
Ah, the magic of craigslist. It has the power to assemble what is now a six-piece troupe of sound and fury, in addition to helping hook you up with some Erotic Encounters. The future!
Now a year and a half into their existence, The Legend of Bigfoot will be releasing a debut CD at a free show at Hell's Kitchen.
"We recorded it ourselves," Krushka tells me. "We just wanted to make sure the songs were really tight, and we wanted to be able to take a little extra time, versus going into the studio."
As for how tight the songs are, the Legend of Bigfoot have a good sense of when enough is enough. Considering how atmospheric Legend of Bigfoot can get, they never get caught in that dangerous psychedelic loop that classic rock devotees often succumb to.
A song like "Circumstantial Evidence," for instance, soars by on a wave of reverb, but underneath it is a consistent beat that kicks the song in its ass until it reaches that three-and-a-half minute pop sweet spot. In and out without indulgence, so satisfying in its brevity.
It's a shock, sometimes, to notice how darn pretty the Legend of Bigfoot can be. "Underwater Man," with its trilling keyboards and pining, impassioned vocals from Krushka, sounds like it could be a long-lost classic from the late-1980s college rock culture. But once the band lures you in with a sweet song like "Underwater Man," they reel it back to the heavy crunch of something like "Lonesome Being," which immediately smacks of Sabbath.
It's a rewarding mixture, and a refreshing break from the garage rock and punk onslaught that at times threatens to dominate Tacoma's music scene.
When asked what else he might like me to add to this article, Mike Krushka says, "Everybody should bring us sex, drugs and rock ‘n' roll. An extra helping."
You hear him, folks. Grab your satchels and stuff them to the brim with as much sex, drugs and rock as you can manage. I know times are tough, economically, but if you can make it out to "Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘R' Us," it'd be advisable for you to stock up. Myself, I never leave my house without at least a little bit of the stuff in my sock. Travel tip.
I don't know if the Legend of Bigfoot utilizes a fog machine, but they'd better. You can hardly be expected to rock as much as they expect you to without that sweet, toxic smoke wafting in your face.
The Legend of Bigfoot
with Valis, Big Wheel Stunt Show, Blanco Bronco, Bandolier,
Saturday, Aug. 28, 8 p.m., no cover
Hell's Kitchen, 928 Pacific Ave, Tacoma