San Fermin is a band that took pieces from a few genres and threw them in a blender.
You’ve got a touch of folk from violin, a trumpet, bari sax, guitar, drums and a pair of lead singers. At the extremely hot and sunny Miller LIte stage Saturday, the brooklyn ensemble pulled in a decent crowd, with music that was a little formless, but completely earnest.
What began as an alternative-classical experiment of one guy to write pop music in the same way you’d right for a string quartet, now seems to have its foot firmly in pop. The high-concept has grown into a unique sound that finds a path somewhere between reference points like Thievery Corporation and The National.
That comparison to The National is one this band gets a lot, because co-lead singer Allen Tate’s voice has that smoky but rich timbre to it that reminds folks of Matt Berninger’s.
San Fermin’s lyrics aren’t as strong as that comparison, though. They’re more hit and miss, with a lot of highfalutin talk of devils and other overly weighty concepts.
On Saturday, San Fermin were at their best when they kept things catchy. That was certainly the case with “Jackrabbit,” the title track from their 2015 release. That’s a song this audience had clearly heard, whether on the radio or online, and it’s no coincidence that this is a hit. Its lyrics are punchier, and the band seems to be having more fun with it.
It doesn’t hurt that the band has another set of accomplished pipes on its roster, from Charlene Kaye. She’s the band’s second female lead vocalist, and on this song especially, she proves herself to be an excellent fit. One that may even improve this already interesting band, maybe transforming it into something completely new and different.