Friday night, Iowa City natives Final Alibi rolled into Des Moines to play with four other bands for an all ages show at Vaudeville Mews. This set was ably handled by the band as they rolled out songs from their debut CD "War Against The Setting Sun." The vocalist, Adam Jennings, belted out the band's tracks with a vocal range and dynamic control that makes him a stunner on the rock circuit. Where most of the other bands chose to scream guttoral pangs, Adam showed poise, control, and the ability to be heard over the din.
Bass duties were controlled by Matt Peterson. He is the type of bass player you want, he can lay back in the cut, punctuating the percussive hits from Derek Rowedder. Or he can step up and blossom a riff duplicating rhythm of the guitars from Jamison Prickett. He doesn't have to be showy to be noticed.
Derek spent the set lit by a couple halogen lamps on flash or low brightness from the floor. The blonde-dyed long hair from the center of his head flipping along with the beat as he thumped the double-kick pedal and beat the kit like a red-headed stepchild.
Jamison plays a mean rhythm, as well as chunky leads from the Hughes & Koettner half-stack filling the venue with searing sound. His playing is reminiscent of Eric Clapton or Muddy Waters, slow, but effective. He will kick the gain in and tear through a riff like it's nobody's business.
The songs sound similar in style to Author of Addiction-era Mindrite. The songwriting is a bit low-key, but these guys have time on their hands to work on that. For just starting out, however, they sound really great together!
The mixing at VM was poor. The everything-louder-than-everything-else attitude towards mixing really only works well in large arenas. This music was mixed for the parking lot across the street from the venue, not for the patrons inside. The mixing booth is upstairs, so it sounds a bit better up there, however on the ground level, it's extremely loud.
These kids have a long way to go, and with the passion they show, they could go far. Best of luck to them!