Hailing from Los Angeles, there’s one thing about The Young Rapscallions that you’ll probably notice right off the bat, so I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way: yes, that’s actor Chris Mintz-Plasse (from Superbad, Role Models, Kick-Ass, etc) on drums. No, this isn’t some Mintz-Plasse vanity project and no, it’s not some attempt for the actor to score cool musical cred points. Honestly, The Young Rapscallions aren’t really about Chris. He’s just the drummer after all (as a drummer I say that with the utmost respect). The Young Raps were a band before Chris’s breakout film career, and they’ve been friends even longer. They’re simply a garage rock band whose drummer’s day job happens to be a little more in the public eye than the average musicians’ 9-5. Don’t accuse the band on cashing in on Mintz-Plasse’s fame, either. Though inevitably the band attracts fans of the actor, they make no special mention or billing of his involvement (even if you’re familiar with Mintz-Plasse, this is probably your first time hearing he’s in a band, right?), nor do they appear to be using his resources to artificially bump their career. They’re doing a tiny venue tour in a van and their recordings, while good, sound like they were recorded on a modest budget.
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Now that I have the Chris thing out of the way, let’s talk about the important part: the band. Though they’ve been together since 2007, The Young Rapscallions first full-length, Everything Vibrates, was released in 2010. They’re most frequently categorized as “garage rock,” but their sound definitely comes from a wide range of influence, to the point where their earlier material suffers from a bit of a disconnect between band members. Everything Vibrates is an enjoyable, if not at times unbalanced, blend of pulsing, White Stripes-flavored garage rock, funky, Chili Peppers-eque guitar lines, classic rock bass riffs, occasional alt/reggae vocal flourishes, and some random, jam rock tendencies. Though I’d file their debut under good, not great, it’s their followup, 2012’s it is what is is. EP, that really piqued my interest. Over 5 tracks, the band really finds a stronger voice, clarity, and unity indicative of much, much bigger things to come. Not only is the production on it is what it is. a huge leap forward for the band, but also the The Young Raps’ intensity, tightness, and focus are operating on a whole new level. Vocalist Jonathan Sanders, especially, comes off with a significantly higher level of confidence and technical expertise on the EP. Hopefully tonight’s performance will lean heavy on new material and, if their live energy matches their recordings, it should be a great show! Either way, this is a band to keep your eye on!
I couldn’t find any higher quality video, or videos of newer songs, but here’s an oldie:
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about how great Nashville’s Sol Cat are. We’re really looking forward to their upcoming new record (and you can check out one of the tracks below). Also supporting the show are local rockers The Kingston Springs. Definitely a well-matched lineup!
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The Young Rapscallions, Sol Cat, and The Kingston Springs are performing tonight at The High Watt. The show kicks off at 9PM (8PM doors), it’s only $5, and you can still snag tickets here. It’s also 18+, so, under-21 crowd, you won’t even need that McLovin Hawaii ID to get in (sorry, sorry, I had to).