The Shape of the Earth
By Ashley Bennett
Gavin Bascom (vocals, guitar, piano); Kevin Hull (guitar, backup vocals); Chris Petty (bass, backup vocals); Mark Sabens (guitar, keyboard); Dallas Ryan (drums).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Redlands, Costa Mesa.
“I think the most prevalent influences you can hear on the record would be Modest Mouse and Death Cab For Cutie (or indie rock in 2000s) just because that whole scene was very formative to me as a songwriter and a musician growing up but I know the rest of the band also takes from a lot from punk and hard rock everyone was listening to in the IE in the ‘90s. It’d be harder to pull direct influences from that pool however, it’s just the feel sometimes” says vocalist Gavin Bascom.
Fire, Then Rain (2012).
Better than a rock opera and so much better than any mopey country song, The Shape of the Earth’s tunes utilize first-person perspective into its lyrics. Gavin Bascom is not only The Shape of the Earth’s vocalist but also the main writer for the band’s lyrics and furthermore, prose. “Fire, Then Rain is a musical record in the traditional sense but all the songs were written based on short stories and characters I had written and thought deserved to be heard. The first track is about a decommissioned robot; ‘Diseased’ is about a runaway murder from the 1800s; ‘Tidal Wave’ is about a disgruntled preacher; ‘Porridge And Cake’ is about an angry history teacher; ‘Cutting My Teeth’ is about a haughty helicopter pilot, etc. I’m working pretty hard on the prose versions of the stories and hope to have them published very soon,” says Bascom.
Giving each song an individual story doesn’t make the band’s sound goofy or comedic. It has a rich indie feel, varying from steady rock to an easygoing ballad. With lyrics including robots and other random subject material, it gives the audience something to delve into with further interest. “I remember once at another Glass House show we played, a girl came up to me after the show and said that one of our songs (‘Higher Ground’) made her cry because we played a slower acoustic version (the version on the record that we normally play is more upbeat) and she could hear the lyrics and ingest them better. That thought stuck with me, how a song written to be more rocking could be slowed down and evoke an entirely different response in someone who already knew the song. It was a pretty neat experience for both of us,” says Bascom.
The celebratory album show will bring good music for sure, but hopefully it will also offer the release of Bascom’s prose to give the audience an inside look to the lyrics and feel that The Shape of the Earth has to offer.
The Shape of the Earth w/Tygers of Wrath, Mystery Sjulls and Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk at The Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. Fri, Sept. 7. 7pm. $10-12.