Thursday, December 16, 2004
Even though the Fresno-based group The Medium has extremely catchy music, don’t expect sunny lyrics from this acoustic rock outfit. On “The Way It Is,” bassist/vocalist Brian Coale sings lyrics like “when you are around my way, it darkens my day” over great acoustic riffs and pattering drumbeats. “These Days” begins with guitarist/vocalist Will Bollman asking the question: “When did I become so fucking hard to comprehend.”
Thankfully, the dark lyrics are undercut with beautiful melodies and harmony vocals. With backing vocalists singing “sha la la” and a perky 1950s-sounding drumbeat, “Check Please” sounds like an effortless combination of an early rock tune and a modern alternative rock song just like Nirvana’s “About a Girl.”
Bollman and Coale first met at an open mic night at Fresno’s Club Fred. Bollman says he was impressed with Coale’s songwriting abilities and the fact that he played acoustic guitar. Eventually, Bollman recruited Coale to play bass in an acoustic jam band called Murder Americana. After Murder Americana dissolved, Coale and Bollman formed The Medium in 2002. After a year performing at Fresno clubs like Club Fred and The Starline, drummer Peter Wolf joined the group.
The Medium is currently recording their debut CD. “It’s definitely crossover music,” he says. “It can hit a wide variety of audiences.”
The Medium is performing at Viva Monterey, 414 Alvarado St., Monterey, Friday and saturday at 9pm. No cover. 646-1415.