Warning: Pilot Speed’s record will cause you to develop behaviors symptomatic of OCD, more specifically, you will be overwhelmed by the urge to repeatedly press play after each listen. The record is Into The West [Wind-Up Records], and the band responsible for it is Pilot Speed. The four-piece is a Canadian import made up of frontman Todd Clark, bassist/backing vocalist Ruby Bumrah, guitarist Chris Greenough and drummer Billy Keeley. Lyrically, they float verse like, “Still I search for things to say/Words to canonize these days/Can I ever hope to capture/The horror and the rapture?”
Awards and selling many records prove that they have already captured the hearts of our neighbors to the North, and they are here now to demonstrate how they raise the caliber of musicianship for all those who dare to call themselves recording artists. The same is true for those who call themselves performance artists as made evident by this show. Vocalist Todd Clark can croon like those lamenting in purgatory, but for the ending of the steamy and heated single, “Barely Listening,” he empathically elongated a raspy, roaring prayer that ripped clean through the rafters and into the heavens. Despite having to deal with a lack of stage space due to the other bands’ equipment, Webster Hall’s floor quickly became just as cramped by the many new found loyalists. Pilot Speed’s compelling and instantly involving invention pulls from such directions as …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, the Deftones, Radiohead and Bruce Springsteen.
Clark shredded his stings with fellow guitarist Chris Greenough on the gripping nostalgia of “Ambulance” which opened the show, but then the lanky figure took a swig of beer from the bottle resting on his keyboard, and touched the keys to mimic the sound of lighting candles for the very sensual “Over- Ground.” The cinematic “A Kind Of Hope” was also embraced by the crowd.
Pilot Speed ended their set with album opener, the dream-state triggering “Knife-Grey Sea” that washes ashore with waves of enthusiasm. The rest of the night would be handled by The Dears and The Annuals.
Pilot Speed gracefully tightrope walk on strands of expansive art rock while caressing that very intimate sentiment nestled in between the breastbone and the flesh. If you have become a jaded music fan and or critic, check out this band and have your faith restored.