Noise Pop 2014: Papercuts, Vetiver, The Donkeys & EDJ at The Chapel

PapercutsBy Kevin Quandt //

Noise Pop: Papercuts with Vetiver, The Donkeys, EDJ //
The Chapel – San Francisco
February 26th, 2014 //

Papercuts, Vetiver, The Donkeys & EDJ performed an unofficial Easy Sound Recording Co. showcase for Noise Pop Fest last week at the Chapel.

Eric D. Johnson played his first show under the moniker of EDJ, a solo effort featuring a man and his guitar. However, on this night it was Eric’s vocals that were front and center as his booming range filled the Chapel early in the eve. This set was the perfect transition into a night that would feature a variety of acts displaying various shade of underground pop-rock. 

After EDJ wrapped up his set for those fans drying off from the rain outside, San Diego’s own, The Donkeys, prepped the stage for a banner set that had the now-packed venue eating out of their hands from beginning to end. The Donkeys represent a cornucopia of the California sound; from the origins of the laid-back style of CSNY to the contemporary style of Pavement. This quartet brings stellar member interplay while shifting styles multiple times, at times guitar solos hail supreme before shifting into a soul-rock revival section which led to hands in the air from front to back. However, with the format that is Noise Pop, the set was cut short as these evenings cram as much music into one given night as possible.

Vetiver was next up, and the constantly rotating lineup featured EDJ on keys while Andy Cabic handled the frontman position in casual form, as he usually does. The addition of a 12-string guitar player gave the band a more worldly sound early in a set that played heavily on fan favorites over the years such as “Hard to Break”. “Strictly Rule” featured extended guitar solos which nodded to their propensity to jam things out every once in awhile. One of the strengths of Vetiver is their range of sound as a calmer mid-set led to a Smiths-inspired rocker that had hips shaking in the packed venue. These guys are true musicians whom love their job, and it shows.

SF’s Papercuts finished the night with a slightly more subdued set, especially when compared to Vetiver and the Donkeys, and the crowd had thinned a bit as the ‘school night curse’ fell over the headliner. Their sound fell a little flat, especially in the vocal department, as elements of shoegaze rock felt out of place on this generally upbeat bill of acts. Jason Quever’s craft is precise, but may appeal to a smaller fanbase than previous acts.


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