In the low amber glow of Harvard and Stone in East Hollywood, Your Dad's Kids took the stage for only the third time in their band's history. Watching a musical group in its infancy can often be the perfect indicator of how long and far they will go in their career. If Tuesday night's performance is any indication, Your Dad's Kids should have a respectible LA following in the near future.
Your Dad's Kids is aptly named. The stylings of drummer Ameenah Kaplan, bassist Eric Fortier, guitarist Brandon Kennedy and vocalist Liz Jeanette are a throwback to their parents' generation of music; Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, David Bowie, just to name a few. Like Pink Floyd, or even the Mars Volta, they have strong, funky three- or four-chord progession melodies that devolve into long, ethereal jam sessions, and then find their way back to a rocking finish.
Where they could use some work is on the buttons of their songs. Each tune was so close to feeling complete but they fell off into an awkward decrescendo, which was compounded by the fact that the breaks between songs were a little too long and there was no entertaining banter from the band. They lost momentum after every tune and had to repeatedly build it from scratch. This is a common mistake new bands make: when it comes to live performance, endings and transitions are just as important as the tunes themselves.
What sets the notably multiracial Your Dad's Kids apart from their predecessors is that while the men bring solid musicianship and subdued showmanship to the group, the women are the ones who really shine. Kaplan, probably 100 pounds soaking wet, brings power to the rhythm section that men twice her size can't muster. Jeanette, with her Pam Grier afro and shimmering leggings, is a glam rocker in the making. Her clear vibratto in conjuction with her sexy growl are almost enough to get the crowd on their feet and to their knees at the same time. However, she faltered between songs. She didn't seem comfortable introducing the band or its name. She underplayed her part in the performance at the end of their set and Kennedy had to reintroduce her to get her the applause she deserved. To be the star-in-training that she is, Jeanette cannot be modest.
The final song Your Dad's Kids performed at Harvard and Stone had the Rage Against the Machine recipe for a successful crowd-pumper. Jeanette's vocals even sounded like Zack de la Rocha. It was a great way to end their set.
While Your Dad's Kids isn't reinventing the rock 'n roll wheel, their musicianship, energy, and Liz Jeanette's star potential will take them far. They just need a few more shows under their belt and an audience that will support them as they mature into adults.