Local Music Review: Posole

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Posole poses after practice at San Francisco Studios in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco on Apr. 12, 2012. The band's next show is on Apr. 18 at San Francisco State University. VALERIE SANTIBANEZ / THE GUARDSMAN

The Guardsman

Peter Hernandez

City College student Daniel Martinez compares the sound of his band’s new music to a Mexican army charging down a hill, with its triumphant trumpet solos, indignantly crooning vocals and powerful percussion.
He can attribute its escalating bass scales and dramatically mood-setting drumming as one of the first recorded accomplishments of a band that still seems to be in sonic limbo.
The four-piece band, Posole, evokes elements of The Strokes, The Walkmen’s Americana-infused and confessional rock music and even the easygoing quality of Sublime.

Guitarist Mike Johnson joined Martinez, bassist Blaine Tabor, and drummer Blake Ritterman after they recorded a demo with former bandmate Jeff Umatsu as Smash Atoms.

Posole’s song development highlights the possibilities of a band that transforms Martinez’s self-recorded bedroom pop compositions into powerful rock songs.

“Postcard,” for example, was recorded after Martinez began experimenting with audio recording software Ableton. Synthesizer-heavy and atmospheric, the band then transformed the track into an undecidedly chaotic rock jam.
Every member of Posole has a great deal of input in their songwriting and represents the wealth of possibilities at hand for the band.
If they allow each instrument enough space – as they do in their song “Lion’s Den,” their tentative album will sound especially cohesive and striking.
This possibility is particularly apparent when Ritterman’s percussion precedes Johnson’s guitar solos, as heard in many songs they compose.

There is a breakdown that silences the bass guitar and Martinez’s vocals, paving way for attention to focus on each musician’s contribution to the arrangement.
But the other songs heard during rehearsal, like “Milk Weed,” have an easygoing introduction that slowly turns to Martinez attempting to overpower his and Patterman’s loud guitars with his vocals, singing, “I don’t care.”
Owing to their eclectic musical background, the group fuses reggae guitar work with jazz bass scales and even reggaeton syncopation. What emerges is something surprisingly young and fresh-sounding.
The band has an interest in breaking cultural boundaries through music.
“Not having an identity, and being a product of many cultures definitely affects us,” Rittereman said. “We can interact with people of other cultures through music.”

LISTEN at http://posole.bandcamp.com/

IF YOU GO
Posole performing Acoustic Set
Cinco de Mayo Art and Music Show
Saturday May 5th, 2012
$7 Admission
8pm All Ages
Sub-Mission Art Space
2183 Mission Street
(between 17th and 18th)

City College student Daniel Martinez pierces the air with his trumpet during Posole’s set on Feb. 17, 2012 at the Ramsell House in San Francisco. Posole's trumpet invigorated the crowd. VALERIE SANTIBANEZ / THE GUARDSMAN

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