Portland duo Utility wants to do away with the idea that the lead singer is in control of a rock band, and rather, the bass player steers, and the drummer is the one who puts on the brakes and accelerator: the rest are really just sitting in the backseat. Well that’s what they think anyway, dispensing with anything beyond the rhythm section, in a neo-grungy fashion that just works. Utilitarian in reality as well as in name, Utiliy comprise Adam Draper on drums, and Ryan Heise on bass and vocals. Their latest single, ‘Bull In The Shop’ is short and sweet, but it takes no prisoners with its catchy riffs.
Draper and Heise are no new kids on the block. The pair have been rocking around Oregon since fivever, and have performed with the likes of Down Gown, System and Station, Swim Swam Swum, and Last Giant, among other PNW bands. Utility is reminiscent of Last Giant in particular, but with Heise taking the sound down a notch, leaving it compact, yet smoking hot.
‘Bull In The Shop’ is the debut single from Utility, and serves as an introduction to their style. The accompanying music video is self-deprecating and down-to-earth, just like Portland itself, with the duo allowing the viewer to see the planning session for their video, unafraid to poke fun at themselves along the way. Heise’s enthusiasm for what they’re planning – messaging Draper, “Don’t forget your knumchucks” is met with a somewhat sceptical response. Nevertheless, he brings them with him, and once the lights go up and the camera starts rolling, we see Draper dressed Ninja-style, twirling his Nunchucks, while Heise swings a massive barbarian sword. All good fun, and, bizarrely, perfectly matched to the song.
You can find out more about Utility on their Twitter page. Watch the video for ‘Bull In The Shop’: