Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!

Wednesday, February 11; Rocket Bar

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What's in a name? There are few choices bands make (outside of, you know, their music) that are as important as choosing the correct name. You don't want it to just be catchy -- it helps if the name stands out to people who are likely to enjoy your music. There are as few twee-pop bands called Slashed Throat Smile as there are metal bands called Dandelion Champagne.

So what are we to make of Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!? Hawaiian dance music? Pompeii's best pogo band? Well, no. The band makes keyboard-driven pop with Weezer-ish touches of emo and plaintive vocals that lend a sense melancholy to even the more upbeat songs. So is the name misleading? Yes and no -- the music (at least based on Volcano's eponymous debut) lacks the feverish intensity of red-hot magma or double exclamation points. But while the pace may not be frantic, the inventiveness of the music is. The songs are pop gems with movements and layers, done with sparse instrumentation and a lack of the pretension that can muddle up lots of ambitious pop. So while the band might not live up to its name, the minor eruptions of this volcano will keep you excited. Hey, maybe that's what the name means.

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