May 1, 2005
Review by Meg Sharkey
I arrived early and keyed up to see my current favorite local band, Scrabbel, perform at a venue dear to my heart, The Make-Out Room. Dan Lee's songwriting is tops, and his arrangement skills have been honed razor-sharp, possibly from the year he spent touring with the Aislers Set. If you like 60s influenced pop music (think the Kinks and the Zombies), you will almost undoubtedly like Scrabbel.
Dan's always been drawn to getting different sounds than the standard indie pop outfit (see the Speak 'n' Spell "Robot Song" on the s/t record). Tonight featured cello, xylophone, organ, and, on one song, clarinet. The cellist, Hellen Jo who writes the cool mini-comic "Komisches Buch", really adds a deep and melodic counterpoint to the bright guitar & organ.
They were playing with a different drummer since the last time I saw them play: Chris Kline of Three Ring Records, the label that's putting out the excellent new Scrabbel record "1909". Pete Nguyen from Total Shutdown and Ee plays drums on "1909" and sets a pretty high bar, but I thought the new drummer was really rocking and upped the energy level.