If you go
What: Pentimento, in concert.
When: 9 p.m. Jan. 9.
Where: Laughing Horse Books and Film Collective, 12 N.E. Tenth Ave., Portland
Cost: $5 suggested donation.
As far as Pentimento singer and guitarist Jeremiah Pauly is concerned, nothing is more important to his band than the live show.
“We absolutely love playing, that’s all there is to it,” he said in a December phone interview. “The live set pretty much is everything to us.”
So it makes sense that when the group got a chance to record its first proper EP, “Wrecked,” it didn’t try to craft a producer-polished, studio-enhanced work of art.
“We didn’t add any studio magic or any of that because we wanted to show people what we have to offer,” Pauly said. “We don’t want to have some crazy record that sounds ridiculously good, and then you come and see us and we can’t pull the same thing off live. That’s what punk rock is all about, especially for us, is just the live performance, meeting and connecting with people.”
Buffalo, N.Y.-based Pentimento’s deeds give proof of that passion for music, as it tours and connects with its small, but growing, audience.
Just consider the group’s first tour, which didn’t start as a Pentimento outing at all. The group’s current four members were in their early teens, touring with different bands but on the same circuit. After
playing about four shows, however, the rest of the tour was canceled, Pauly said.
Some of the musicians collaborated to scratch together performance opportunities — even if it meant they had to sleep in their vans to make it happen.
“It really shaped how we view where we find happiness in life and happiness in music,” Pauly recalled of the experience. “It made us realize that, hey, being with your friends and sharing the same common interest in music and touring … this is something I want to do for the rest of my life.”
It took another decade — until summer 2010 — for Pauly, drummer Mike Hansen, guitarist Lance Claypool and bassist Vinny Caito to leave their earlier bands and finally form Pentimento.
“Wrecked” is just the first salvo in what will be a busy year for Pentimento.
In late March, the band will release a split-7-inch single with Young English (another band signed to Panic Records) that includes two new Pentimento originals.
Then it will be time for Pentimento to record its first full-length CD, which is likely to be released this summer.
As it is, “Wrecked” is a promising start for the group. Melodic punkish songs like “Everything’s Eventual” and “The Rules Of Attraction” are powered by big, chiming guitar chords that nicely complement the vocals and drum beats. The band also shows some skill at changing tempos and intensities on such songs as “Words With Friends” and “Walking Calmly In Your Wake.”
Rather than discuss the sound they wanted on “Wrecked,” the band members just let lead songwriter Hansen get to work. The music followed naturally.
“The Pentimento sound just kind of came out of the collaboration of the four of our minds,” Pauly said. “We didn’t stay specific to any genre. We didn’t make any attempt to fit in with a certain scene. It kind of came out the way it did. To be honest with you, when we sat back and released ‘Wrecked’ and we got a lot of the feedback on it, we were kind of told what we sounded like. We had no idea what genre we were going fall under, what bands we were going to be compared to. Thankfully, we were compared to bands like Hot Water Music and Polar Bear Club, bands that we were very, very proud to be compared to.”