The Black Tones, "Plaid Pants" (self-released).
Seattle trio the Black Tones are in a strange yet exciting phase of their career: They've accrued significant buzz and snagged sweet gigs at high-profile festivals, played live on KEXP and been featured on the YouTube program Band in Seattle. Yet they don't have a label, even as they record their debut album with super-producer Jack Endino. So far, the Black Tones' live shows have exceeded their recordings for sheer visceral impact, but one suspects that forthcoming material will deliver a more dynamic picture of what these excellent musicians are capable of.
Nevertheless, "Plaid Pants" deserves some of your ever-dwindling attention span. It's a nearly seven-minute slow-burn of flagrantly fuzz-toned blues rock, with vocalist/guitarist Eva Walker charismatically emoting about the strength and inspiration she derived from her grandparents. I hate to invoke a world-class asshole like Ted Nugent in the context of a group of African-American musicians, but "Plaid Pants" does bear some similarities to the Motor City Madman's best song, "Stranglehold." It's all about that simmering tension...
In a press release, Walker explained the meaning of "Plaid Pants":
This song was written about my maternal grandparents. The first verse about my grandpa, the second verse, my grandma. Both Cedric and I were extremely close to them and they were a major influence on who we are. In addition to that, the song is about old age in general. Our grandparents used to wear plaid pants, but mainly plaid shirts, but “Plaid Pants” is a catchier title then “Plaid Shirts.” With that being said the term plaid pants in the song represent wisdom, experience, not caring what people think, not caring who sees you doing whatever, as well as being at or toward the end of your life.
The Black Tones play Summer Stag Party 3 at Slim's Last Chance on Saturday, August 4, with Pink Parts, Andrew McKeag, DJ Kingblind, and Love Battery, who will be performing their classic 1992 album Dayglo in its entirety. Look for a post featuring a long, provocative interview with the Black Tones' Eva Walker and Love Battery guitarist Kevin Whitworth in the near future.