Last night, Porch Kat advanced to the finals for the Battle of the Bands. If you missed their show, you can make up for it by giving them a listen now.
This week, we’ve been covering local Indianapolis bands competing in the Battle of the Bands competition being held at The Hi-Fi. Twenty-four bands throughout Indiana are competing for votes in hopes of making it to the finals held at The Vogue on February 15th. The winning band will take home a grand prize of $10,000 and a touring van.
After last night’s third round of semifinals, things are looking up for Porch Kat, who are now one step closer to that sweet grand prize. So before we get into our song of the day, here’s a little more about Porch Kat.
Porch Kat is a four-piece psychedelic and progressive rock band, describing themselves as “not a jam band, but a band that jams”. While they’re from Muncie, Indiana, they’re close enough that we might as well consider them a native Indy band. Band members include Matt Keyser (guitar), Tyler Padgett (guitar), Alex Kilmer (bass/vocals), and Brandon Gick (drums).
Although Porch Kat is still a relatively young group, the music they put out speaks for itself in its sophistication. This doesn’t seem to have gone unnoticed, either. While they’ve only been gigging around the city for a little more than a year, Porch Kat has already played at notable venues such as the Melody Inn, The Hi-Fi, Mousetrap, and The Pioneer.
Porch Kat released their first single, “Smudge” in 2018, followed up the next year by their debut EP, “With a K”. While their early releases showed a lot of promise and experimentation, they also fell more securely into the realm of blues and rock based jam bands. It didn’t feel as though they’d really found their sound yet, and were more concerned with jamming with blues and psychedelic influences. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. But on their new EP, “Hot Fruit”, released last year, seems more cohesive as a whole. In it, Porch Kat seem more comfortable with their sound, and take on experimenting in other genres, namely jazz.
“Hot Fruit” is both the title track and the closing song to Porch Kat’s most recent EP. In the lyrics, Porch Kat directly refer to the genres they’ve been experimenting with. Specifically, the line “Hits and breaks in jazz and swing”, which refer to the two main genres being adapted in “Hot Fruit”. On this track, the verses stick to that jazz and swing style, while the chorus section falls more into the realm of Porch Kat’s characteristic blend of improvisational psych rock, with a bluesy solo thrown in the middle.
The beginning of the song sets up the jazz and swing styles, before launching into a more groovy progression for the verse sections. Some of the best moments in “Hot Fruit” come from the little things. Quick little guitar fills and frills thrown in between chords, or small transitional phrases that switch up throughout the course of the song. That’s one of the best things about Porch Kat in my opinion. Their care and attention to both the larger song structure, as well as the little details is one of the things that makes repeated listening that much more enjoyable.
The song rises to a climactic finish through the last minute, building with a combination of guitar licks, bombastic horns, and a chorus of voices chanting “hot fruit”, before ending on one final guitar lick.
Overall, “Hot Fruit” is Porch Kat at a more contemplative and laid back than their debut. It’s refreshing to hear them continue to experiment with their sound and style as they evolve as a band. Hopefully, we’ll see them putting out a full length album soon. Maybe if they end up taking it all at the Battle of the Bands finals, we’ll see that sooner rather than later.
Be sure to put February 15th on your calendar for the Battle of the Bands finals held at The Vogue. It’ll be a fierce competition, but at the end of the day, the best band will take it.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.