Fewer than two years after Seattle bands Car Seat Headrest and Naked Giants were in town, they return this week, beginning a tour in support of Car Seat Headrest’s redo of its early Bandcamp release, “Twin Fantasy.” Car Seat Headrest, which comprises Will Toledo, Ethan Ives, University of Oregon alum Andrew Katz and Seth Dalby, will be joined on stage by Naked Giants, who are acting as auxiliary members after opening the show. They will be playing at WOW Hall on Friday, April 6.
The pairing of the two bands on stage is a match made in heaven. With Naked Giants’ freewheeling stage presence and Car Seat Headrest’s fuzzy, nihilistic indie-rock, the two bands’ return to Eugene will be nothing short of spectacular.
But don’t miss Naked Giants’ opening set just because its members are playing with Car Seat Headrest later that night. The rambunctious and ever-energetic trio, comprising vocalist and guitarist Grant Mullen, drummer Henry LaVallee and bassist Gianni Aiello, released its debut album, “Sluff,” on New West Records on March 31.
KEXP said the band’s first release after 2016’s “R.I.P EP” feels rushed in a good way — hectic and unstable, but not overtly so. The band experiments with quieter, poppier sounds in “Sluff.” Tracks “Shredded Again” and “Everybody Thinks They Know (But No One Really Knows)” feel less hectic than the band’s previous work, but still, there’s a sense of rambunctiousness and unease.
“TV,” the album’s six minute and 30 second-long single, goes from guitar-pedal laden riff to riff. The song feels like somewhat of a culmination of the band’s previous sounds. The album is like other firsts — it’s something new and not entirely stable on its feet, but still fantastic in its own right.
When the two bands played at WOW Hall in October 2016, Toledo wore a suit and bolo tie and crowd surfed at the end of the set. Naked Giants hadn’t made much of an impact outside of Seattle yet but returned to Eugene later in the year to play the now-defunct DIY venue, the Boreal. Meanwhile, Toledo and his band worked on “Twin Fantasy.”
Toledo released the original album in 2011 on Bandcamp. Both versions of the album chronicle a young man discovering his homosexuality and the tracklist remains relatively the same. But the remake of “Twin Fantasy” features a more robust sound thanks to a full band instead of Toledo playing all instruments himself. Toledo’s increasingly confident vocals add another layer of emotion to the lyrics. “Cute Thing” features a new verse, adding references to R&B artist Frank Ocean.
“God / Give me Frank Ocean’s voice / And James Brown’s stage presence / I will be your rock, God, when you’re rolling the dice,” Toledo sings with increasing force. “I got so fucking romantic / I apologize.”
Accompanied by Andrew Katz’s pounding drums, Seth Dalby’s bass lines and Ethan Ives’ varied guitar work, the re-imagined album feels fuller and more thought-out compared to its original. These songs are some of Toledo’s best work, both lyrically and musically, and with the addition of Naked Giants, hopefully, something to behold live.
The WOW Hall visit is the tour’s first stop (Naked Giants played Portland earlier this week) — and it’s somewhat of a homecoming for CSH’s Andrew Katz, who went to UO. Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15 online and at the door. For more information, visit http://www.wowhall.org/events/car-seat-headrest-naked-giants.
Follow Sararosa on Twitter @srosiedosie.