Freaks & Geeks & Punks

Tyvek at the Funhouse | 30 October 2009

Freaks & Geeks

Are Tyvek punks, geeks, or moonlighting construction workers?  They’re most certainly the first two.  Frontman Kevin Boyer is a dead ringer for Bill Haverchuck but he can rock it like Nick Andopolis, and they could very well be the third for all I know. Maybe that’s why Boyer was the only Tyvek guy I recognized from the group that recorded the excellent self-titled album released on Siltbreeze earlier this year. The rest of the band could be back in Detroit unable to get away from their jobs for this west coast tour.  Tyvek last night at the Funhouse were a band that at times acted like this was the first time they’d ever actually played a gig together.  That’s probably because it was close to the case.  Not sure what’s up with the original line-up, or if this is the west coast version of Tyvek.   At one point the second guitarist’s chord to his amp came unplugged from his guitar, but he didn’t seem to notice and kept playing, luckily Chris from the opening band Sandy City noticed and plugged it back in for him.    A few songs later it took the drummer a few minutes to figure out the beat to a song Boyer wanted to play next.

Lucky for Tyvek that first and foremost, they’re punks because even with a band that seemed brand new they were able to get their point across.   While his band seemed a bit robotic (one of them was dressed in vintage Devo yellow jumper, industrial glasses and cone top), Boyer was a bundle of awkward energy.  Like his guitar playing, he would unleash his body in spasms jumping around and pogoing around the stage.  He’s got a voice that reminds me of a stoner version of Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat/Egg Hunt/Embrace/Pailhead/Fugazi).  He keeps it cool though, never really going into  the manic screaming that Mackay tends towards. It seemed that Boyer only really required minimal backing and I think he probably could have pulled it off as a solo gig because it was his singing and playing that were front and center of the show.

The Tyvek record is cool in the way it interlaces these Joy Division sounding interludes in between melodic old school punk rock songs like Building Burning, Hey Una and Summer Things.  The songs last night didn’t really jump out at you like they do on the record.  It was almost as if they were playing with one arm tied behind their back.  They were good, but I left with the feeling that I didn’t really see the real Tyvek.  I guess I have to go to Detroit for that.

mp3: Tyvek – Hey Una (buy their album from Siltbreeze)

Nov 1 – Funhouse (again) w /Blues Control – Seattle, WA
Nov 3 – THE HUB – Sacramento, CA
Nov 4 – HEMLOCK TAVERN – San Francisco, CA
Nov 6 – VACATION RECORDS – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 8 – TBA in Tucson – Tucson, AZ

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