Kingdom Crumbs, The Bad Tenants, Nu Era, Kung Foo Grip-June 21st at the Wild Buffalo
Without much fanfare or hype, Seattle electronic group Kingdom Crumbs came to the Buff on Friday the 21st. Bolstering the lineup and providing some local draw were Bham favorites The Bad Tenants, along with Nu Era and Kung Foo Grip, both more along the conventional ‘rap group’ line. The two openers came out with a lot of energy, but I see more and more of these groups where the beats stay steady for much of the track while each vocalist provides his lines and the other members run around the stage and punctuate certain words within the lines. It’s exciting and both groups executed the style very effectively, with Kung Foo Grip also adding in occasional spoken word, acapella passages to inconsistent success so far as working up the crowd is concerned.
The mood after the two openers was hard to pin down, but there was obvious energy in the room for the Bad Tenants, and for good reason. Both emcees and DJ Idlhands function excellently together, mixing dynamics masterfully, from hard bangers with lightning-fast rap lyrics from Casey and Idlhands, to slower, ballad-esque tracks with impressive pipes courtesy Matt Goodwin. But they would switch it up, Matt would spit lines out faster than Casey, who would throw out some melody, they’d pick up sax and trombone, the backing tracks were dynamic and interesting. They’re simply really great at this, and they brought the energy way up.
Unfortunately, the crowd seemed to be there primarily (or solely) for the Bad Tenants, as things thinned out considerably after their set. I didn’t notice them announcing an immediately-after party or anything, so I don’t know why everyone just bailed. Despite Casey Gainor announcing how excited he was to be playing with Kingdom Crumbs, the crowd just thinned out.
But Kingdom Crumbs brought their best stuff, anyways. For those who haven’t heard them, they’re hard to describe. I recognized Jarv Dee, a pretty high-energy rapper, and assumed they’d be an aggressive rap group, but the wealth of keyboards on stage hinted at something different. They kicked off their set strong and never had an extended lull or break for the duration of their set. It was really impressive how they strung together such a cohesive set and kept things interesting, with great instrumentals and a dynamic vocal complement featuring crooners, heavily effected Jarv Dee stylings, and a couple of really interesting vocalists who had unique voices and, again, style. The whole composition kind of had a ‘space, relationships, anxieties’ theme and vibe to it with all the synthesized sounds and atypical instrumentation, and it’s too bad that not more people hung around for the show, as the vibe was kind of off, and as the vocalists switched roles they often encountered different vocal levels and settings which were designed for another, but this was all a minor concern at what was otherwise a really good show.