Commentary and photos by Jeff Rey
© Copyright 2004 NEON, blue door productions
All rights reserved
April/May 2004
While a recent cover of the CMJ New Music Report proclaimed Aerial Love Feed “NYC’s Best Kept Secret” and though the terms “under the radar” and “best unknown band” still keep getting tagged on them in the music press, veteran club-goers have been in on the secret for a long time. Aerial Love Feed has been around on and off since 1998, but the only constants have been frontman Wade Settle and Gerry Rustic on bass. The music has also matured since those beginnings, hardened up by the twin guitar attack of first John Kapp and then Derrek Hawkins and now newest member Drew Thomas on drums. But the group we saw at Tribeca sounded as if they had been playing together for all that time. This is a tight – and very powerful – act. Samples and other electronics are employed throughout and while those devices can so easily (and often) distract from what’s happening on stage, here they subtly enhanced the fuel feeding this machine, raising the intensity level in smooth bursts of energy. Though often the music got frantic and the beat infectious, Settle doesn’t jump around the stage much, but he is a presence that commands attention. Sporting a pair of shades, he never wandered far from his mic – as if playing all-knowing blind overseer to the sometimes tumultuous sounds exploding around him. It’s hard to compare Aerial Love Feed to anyone else (though they themselves site Primal Scream as an strong influence). There’re elements of punk, new wave, no wave, hip-hop and hard-corps sprinkled throughout their set, but above all else they are a rock band. Aggressive, loud and with a driving beat. For now, they have an EP out that includes the super-charged songs “Pedestal” and “CB” - a full album is in the works.
Flying under the radar with NYC's best known unknown band ...