by Sam Beresky
Local band Simple has the whole musician thing down pat.
The band has mastered using quality equipment, writing superior lyrics and displaying all-around excellent musicianship by being an older, wiser version of the typical local band.
Comprised of former members of Albuquerque's most popular bands- Naomi, Starsky and January's Little Joke - Simple is poised to head in a different direction than its predecessors. With influences like Coldplay, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Interpol, Ride and even the Church, the band seems ready and capable of adding another chapter to the American Brit-Pop genre that seems to be everywhere these days. According to lead vocalist/guitarist Stacy Parrish, the band has a good idea how to start that chapter.
"We've had a personal audience with the president of Borders Books and Music and have established a great relationship with the company," Parrish said. "We are in the process of establishing an exclusive relationship that will have our music available only at Borders in conjunction with in-store appearances."
When asked if the deal will limit the band's options, Parrish responded with a resounding no.
"Borders is the second largest music retailer in the world and are a great company to work with," he said.
Along with Parrish, Simple includes Joe Anderson on bass, guitarist Daniel Prevett, and drummer Jeff "J-Ro" Romaniuk. All members are veterans of the local scene and are also over 30 years old.
On Jan. 17 Simple performed at the Launchpad for their eighth performance in Albuquerque since forming a little over a year ago. Beers were tossed back, a few laughs were had among the members and philosophies on local stardom were discussed.
The room was empty at the beginning of the first song but by the time the emotional power of Parrish's voice ended the tune, the room was full. The second song, "Ballad of the Beauty Queen," was a dramatic haunting number that could give a person chills and would make any Train or Matchbox 20 song sound like wilting teen pop.
The next song, "End of the String," was along the lines of the first few songs but superbly showcased the tightness of the four-piece and the power of Parrish's vocals to move the crowd.
Simple does not play music that makes people dance; they play very dramatic, dreamy Brit-Pop that builds emotions inside the listener. The songs could hold their own on heavy rotation with the likes of Coldplay, early Radiohead, and even - if only for a moment - revive the ghosts of almost forgotten '80s tearjerkers Echo and the Bunnymen. With a simple plan for success and straightforward dramatic rock 'n' roll, Simple is a local band with true promise.