Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Seriously, Take Your Mom to See The Soft White Sixties

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The Soft White Sixties onstage at Neurolux.
  • Josh Gross
  • The Soft White Sixties play onstage at Neurolux.

Though I always liked the oldies station, my mom never much cared for the music of my generation. About the only thing we could agree on was The Stray Cats, a band that reminded her of Elvis, Buddy Holly and Del Shannon, the music she grew up listening to.

San Francisco band and Treefort Music Fest alum The Soft White Sixties, which played at Neurolux July 17 for Radio Boise Tuesdays, may be heading down a similar age-gap-defying road.

Nearly everything from its songwriting style to the guitarist's Byrds haircut is undeniably retro, with strong hints of late '60s power pop, psych pop and soul. Bands like The Sonics and The Mysterians are obvious influences. But at the same time, The Soft White Sixties is undeniably modern. Singer Octavio Genera's serpentine tambourine dance moves are copped just as much from Axl Rose as they are from James Brown. The band would be at home on an underground indie label or on Stax Records. Think The Black Keys meets Otis Redding.

But what really sets The Soft White Sixties apart from other bands worshipping at the temple of '60s mod-rock is that its songs are really, really good, with funky beats, killer riffs and big, catchy singalong choruses.

The band was easily the best I saw at Treefort, and the return set didn't disappoint. Booties shook on the dance floor, and after nearly two minutes of sustained cheering, the band had to return for a two-song encore.

And with a reception like that at the tail-end of a grueling national tour, the band wasn't shy about the attention.

"Cheers," Genera said. "This is the best Tuesday we've had in a long time."

The Soft White Sixties is destined for much bigger things.

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