“I came from NASCAR country,” says the Kabbs’ singer Brian Clinebell at Bluefoot Bar in North Park, a couple of blocks from the duplex he shares with bandmates Kyle (guitar) and Brandon (drums) Whatley. “[Kyle and Brandon] came from rodeo country.”
“And I came from Orange County,” says bassist Chase Elliott. “I had to hide my monocle and tuxedo when I got here.”
The Kabbs played their first show (and the first live performance for everybody in the band except Chase) last Halloween at a North Park house party with the Old In Out. Their set grew out of living room jam sessions between Brian and the Whatleys, who met skateboarding at Mission Beach in 2001.
“We got stoked on a song, recorded it...and all of a sudden we came together into a band,” Red Bluff native Brandon says.
The band has since played nearly every bar in town, including the recent Johnny Rad Fest with the Zeros at Ken Club, and are wrapping up a five-song EP recorded live with Mike Kamoo at Earthling Studios in El Cajon.
“Everyone says we sound like the Doors because Brian has long hair,” says Chase, half joking. In beyond-shoulder-length hair, beard, and aviators, the southwest Virginia–born singer certainly does recall the Lizard King. His vocals hint at a sound somewhere between Glenn Danzig and a whisky-sodden Morrison. Others have likened the Kabbs (pronounced “cabs”) to the Seeds, Wolf Parade, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre.
“We want it to be very simple and very natural,” says Kyle of their psychedelic garage rock. Accordingly, Brian’s lyrics tend to focus on timeless rock-and-roll themes of “girls, love, life. Ya know, as you grow older, what the f--- are you gonna do?”
Lyrics such as “I don’t need no redirection, I just want your affection” and “Your love is an uphill battle, my engine’s running hot, I can only take so much, before I fall apart” exemplify the Kabbs’ unassuming yet resolute energy.
The band intends to record a full-length album, tour with friends the Ferocious Few from San Francisco, and perform at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. In the meantime, they’ll be playing the Casbah with the Death Eaters and Grand Tarantula on August 25 and the Del Mar racetrack August 28 with Dirty Sweet and the Howls.
Got a wicked pissah new band? Let us know by sending the MySpace thing to email@example.com. We’ll check you/them out for our next installment of “Now You Know.”