Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Silent Comedy at the Webster Hall Ballroom

In 1996, the father of Jeremiah and Joshua Zimmerman sold all of the family’s possessions to travel as an itinerant preacher throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Russia and the United States. Meanwhile, his two sons created music, playing folk instruments in the foothills of the Himalayas and drawing crowds around pianos at Spanish shopping malls. Ten years later, finally settled in San Diego, California, the brothers formed a band, the Silent Comedy. The group recorded original Americana-inspired music on two albums and two EPs, including the most recent EP, Friends Divide.

The Silent Comedy opened for the Heavy at the Webster Hall Ballroom tonight and impressed with their energetic set of roots-rocking songs. Joshua Zimmerman (vocals, bass), Jeremiah Zimmerman (vocals, keyboards, guitar), cousin Chad Lee (drums) and long time friend Justin Buchanan (mandolin, banjo) played music that featured elements of blues, folk, bluegrass, and the revival meetings they grew up attending. Primarily, however, the music felt like it was shamelessly created and sustained by a rowdy and possibly seedy whiskey bar culture. Played with a southern swagger, the performance was almost savage in execution, like an alligator crawling out of a swamp to bite you in the butt. The members of the Silent Comedy threw their bodies into hard-driving motion along with the music. The Silent Comedy is an unknown band, but given more opportunities to play before live audiences, the band will not remain unknown for long.