Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
Abe Vigoda is not just a band named after an elderly, funny-looking actor and David Letterman punchline. As a matter of fact, the Los Angeles-based band far surpasses its on-the-surface self-introduction. It's a band that doesn't do the funny, or the tongue-in-cheek masquerade, but instead it has managed to be an exciting and creatively special collection of young men. The four-piece released its new album, "Crush," late last year and it's a piece of work that feels like a sinewy drive through a deserted but threatening highway pass that slips through some foggy, late night or pre-dawn hours, snaking through some LA canyons. It's an album that features a spooky taste of intimacy that also hints at the hills being full of eyes, those yellow and green circles glowing out at you from beneath their cover. They flick on and off, with hunger in their bellies, like fireflies that disappear almost completely, intermittently between the times that their bulbs are lit. Lead singer Michael Vidal, Juan Velazquez, David Reichardt and Dane Chadwick have crafted a shoegaze sound that, while it might be a little downtrodden, it's not a downer, instead giving us a night scene of invariables, a collage of arms, legs, teeth, hair and faces that blurs and blends into a mysterious stomping ground. It reflects a dream-state taking over and usurping control, claiming the conscience and subconscious and re-writing them a little, or just taking them for a ride into a barren ballroom. It feels like a drifting of dreams, fluttering by in succession, similar, but still their own things, all of the same mind and heart though. They come at us like the restrained howlings toward eclipsed moons, those muted and pale beckons that might hold some kind of luxurious truth in them. Vidal sings on "Beverly Slope," "You always want me to tell you what you already know," and it's this thought that gives us an idea of the glassy and uncertain countenance that we probably should all share, in some way. There are things that we know internally and yet we're constantly seeking reassurance and the companionship that comes along with that. Abe Vigoda makes you feel like even the gentlest of nights beat us up some. They leave bruises and welts and they leave us with a lip adorned in the corner with a little dried blood. We can find love in them, we can lose love in them, but we're always out there in them, fighting for our lives and what they could wind up as.