I walked into Reno’s all-ages venue/artist-showcase Holland Project a little late while the Friday night openers People With Bodies were in the middle of some weird séance. The band set up in the middle of the crowd equipped with a rug and lamp. Members were begging the audience to join them in singing a repetitive chorus about Dave Grohl calling their home phone or something. They continued singing as they walked out the door with the crowd following them.
I brushed that off my shoulder and began setting up for Ford Corl, a Reno project featuring the song writing of Corl, the bassist Adam Carpenter of Moondog Matinee, drummer Troy Elizares of Hate Recorder and the digital multimedia production department of the Knowledge Center at UNR (Shawn Sariti on guitar).
They produce bold and droning power pop. Corl has a gift for melody. At shows, I usually get most enjoyment when I already know the song. With Corl, most hooks and melodies are instantly enthralling. They produce captivating and entrancing music with full-bodied production.
Corl’s band has been together for about a year. The musicians’ sets are multimedia experiences. Words, shapes and art are synced to their music and projected on the wall behind them after dancing on their faces and instruments. A common theme features clips of Dick Van Dyke, except his head is engulfed in digital flames. Even this show’s flier paraded a living-color Van Dyke in Bert from Mary Poppins attire.
“I started working on the animations at the end of 2016,” Corl said in a super formal Facebook messenger interview. “I just make them at home.”
Corl wields a guitar and laptop as he sings lead vocals through waves of music.
“That’s Troy on drums,” Corl said. “He’s also my son. Love you, boy.”
Corl’s license plate is a reference to anti-comedy icons Tim and Eric, and his sense of humor follows suit.
He threatened to wrap-up the set with a cover song, and someone in the crowd guessed Red Hot Chili Peppers in jest. Corl laughed it off and played a medley of Beach House’s “Wishes” and Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” The former was just as ethereally monotonous as its creators, the latter was a triumph and staple at their performances.
“I’m currently working on a new album,” Corl said. “I plan on releasing it at the end of the year at the earliest or summer of next year at the latest.”
Despite wearing a shirt that read “Barf,” Ford Corl puts on one of the most polished shows you can see in Reno. The band fills a niche of loose creativeness and bold investigational pop.
– Tony Contini