Thank you for Reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in or create an account to continue reading.
Thank you for Reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in to your subscriber account or create an account and subscribepurchase a subscription to continue reading.
Print Plus subscribers receive a mailed copy of the News&Guide every week, access to content on our website and e-editions of the News&Guide and Daily.
Digital Plus subscribers receive access to our website content and e-editions of the News&Guide and Daily.
Digital Monthly subscribers receive access to our website content and e-editions of the News&Guide and Daily for 30 days.
Digital Weekly subscribers receive access to our website content and e-editions of the News&Guide and Daily for 7 days.
On the cover of their latest single, “Front Seat,” the members of the Cleveland band Racket Man pose in retro monochromatic outfits.
Bassist Chris Seaman sports a cap that reads “high life,” keyboardist Tyler Elwing squats in a triple-XL yellow T-shirt with no pants on, and guitarist Tommy Marx has the earnest look of a car mechanic circa 1985 with his dark blue coveralls, mullet and mustache.
Although Racket Man’s music draws heavily from ’70s and ’80s soft rock acts like the Doobie Brothers, Big Star and Steely Dan, the band’s attitude and style is more akin to the pervasive silliness of Mac Demarco.
This week Racket Man will bring that character to Jackson for a 9 p.m. Tuesday show at Hole Bowl, which comes in the middle of a string of dates the band’s playing across the Midwest and West.
Racket Man has been performing seven days a week at venues ranging from nightclubs, to abandoned warehouses, to doughnut shops to, well, bowling alleys.
“Right now we’re pretty much addicted to touring,” Elwing said. “We just want to play the best version of our music possible.”
That hunger for performance and desire for perfection has pushed the bandmates to record their shows for playback and analysis at a later date.
“We’ve cut away anything that wasn’t necessary,” Elwing said of the insight they have gained. “Everybody was too scared to leave space.”
Racket Man’s perfectionism is especially apparent in the ultrasmooth production on its third self-released EP, “Recreational Magic,” which came out this past spring. Hooky pop melodies cruise over an understated mix of live and programmed drums, syncopated guitar voicings and ’80s- and ’90s-era synth textures. The lyrics seem to hover somewhere between the cryptic storytelling of Steely Dan and the bare-all poetry of emo acts like American Football.
“We like to think that we rock, but it’s just so soft that it feels wrong to say that we do,” Marx said.
The band is so dedicated to the soft rock vibe, in fact, that it has been progressively turning down the volume on its shows in an effort to find the perfect, inoffensive level.
“Nobody is moving,” Elwing said of Racket Man shows. “Maybe a little dancing, but the music is so laid back that you could definitely just sit down and enjoy it.”
Initially, that soft and sentimental sound had a hard time gaining traction in the band’s hometown, where the scene was dominated by garage rock.
“I can’t remember a show where we haven’t met at least one person who was a fan of ours — even if they were the only person in the room,” Elwing said. “That’s enough for us.”
Although the bandmates have no plans to curb their breakneck touring for now, they aspire to make a full LP when they have the time and space.
“My ultimate goal as a songwriter is to have that album that is a cohesive compilation of music that I’m super proud of,” Elwing said. “I feel like I’m surrounded by the right people to do that, and I think they feel that way too.”
You can get a taste of where Racket Man is headed at the Hole Bowl show, where the group plans to perform a brand-new song, slotted for release as a single Oct. 18.
You can also catch a glimpse of the musicians’ monochromatic outfits, which Ewing described as “like the Teletubbies’ if they forgot their face masks.” ￼
Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
Wire Mesh, Woven Wire Mesh, Decorative Metal Sheet, Gabion Mesh – Kingdelong,https://www.kdlmesh.com/