Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Dept. of Energy

I have long thought that Robb Benson has one of the best singing voices in Seattle…which is why I used to stalk Dear John Letters by showing up at every one of their shows by myself (before I moved back to the city from the ‘burbs and met lots of great friends – one of whom coincidentally ended up being the co-writer for DJL’s awesome lyrics, Michelle Auer).

Despite my tears over that band’s demise, I still got to hear Robb’s fantastic crooning on a few solo endeavors, and eventually ended up really loving his next band, Dept. of Energy. DoE consists of Robb, drummer Cassody Laton, Keyboardist Ty Bailie Hammond – and occasionally, guitarist Jeff Fielder, who’ll be joining them for the Bumbershoot show.

Dept. of Energy creates the same, dreamy feeling for me as DJL did with just a slightly harder edge. I’d be lying if I didn’t hear a bit of Doors-y influence in there (and indeed, I’ve been at a show or two where they’ve ripped out a cover during an encore), but for most part they have their own unique sound – IMO, mostly due to Benson’s vocals – and they rock damn HARD, sneaking a slower ballad in every once in awhile.

Most importantly, they put on a hell of a show. If you haven’t seen them, you’re missing out.

{Dept. of Energy plays at Bumbershoot on Monday, September 7 from 12:15-1:15pm at EMP|SFM’s Sky Church. Photo by SJ Corbett.}