THEY'VE TAKEN Akron by storm and now Jarvis, one of Western New York's hottest young bands, has set its sights on Buffalo.
"Our desire to be in Buffalo is to see what type of fan base we can get outside of Akron," says drummer Keith Hatswell. "We're taking baby steps. We planted a seed in Akron and now we'll see how we'll do in Buffalo."
Those baby steps are more like giant leaps for the young quartet, which formed just over a year ago. Hatswell, vocalist Paul Bright, guitarist Erik Kelkenberg and bassist Will Leiker have already released the debut CD "Another Fake Scenario." The solid 13-song collection has an indie-rock bent colored with a large palette of influences.
"We try anything," says Hatswell, 22. "If someone has an idea, we don't rule it out. We're working on a disco song now. It's weird, but it's still Jarvis. Somehow the music always comes back to us."
So "Another Fake Scenario" has the barnyard jazz and goofiness of "Baltimore Baby," the straight-ahead rock of "In Over" and the experimental nature of "Drop . . . " Chalk that diversity up to an open-minded philosophy and a willingness to go with the music without concern of fitting into a pre-determined format.
"When you look at other bands that are older and very schooled, there's a constrictiveness on what should and shouldn't be written or played. We don't think of it that way. We're just kids who got together and clicked," Hatswell says.
The decision to immediately tackle a CD came through the need of the four musicians to capture the essence of the songs, he says. "We were at the point where we could wait another year and get more songs or go with what we had. Our songs were fresh. We loved them and felt they were at their prime, so we decided to record.
"If you don't document the songs early, you might forget the magic of hearing it the way you wrote it and it slowly slips away from you," Hatswell says. "But I'm still fascinated by the songs."
The band's surprising maturity is evident as Hatswell talks about future possibilities. "If we ever make it in music as a career, that's great. It's what we want," he says. "But we're just having fun. We're smiling and having a good time. We take the good with the bad. When we're on stage it's our time."
Upcoming: Saturday at Central Park Park Grill, 2519 Main St.
LOCAL RECORD PICK
Blink of an Eye, "Anomia." In the spirit of prog-rock greats Yes and King Crimson comes the Buffalo duo Blink of an Eye. Steve Thurston is featured on keyboards and Carl Cino on just about everything else from guitars to drum programming. The songs are lengthy (six are longer than five minutes) and have a '70s flair. Cino laces jazz-influenced guitars through the instrumental "When Lambs Slay Dragons." "Time and Tide" and "Surrender" are both dramatic with heavy-handed vocals. The Yes influences are especially obvious on "Hey Remember Me."
-- Toni Ruberto