Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band came charging out of the gates surrounded by a cloud of self-made hype so thick and intoxicating that Seattle's music community got completely swept up in it before anyone even heard the band's music. Which was the idea (specifically, guitarist Benjamin Verdoes' idea). And it was a brilliant one. However, while it is conceptually interesting to reverse the whole band promotion process--that is, to create a few intriguing teaser videos before anyone hears a note of your actual music, the product you're supposed to be shilling with those pretty pretty visuals--MSHVB's first effort, Weepy, while it is a catchy little indie rock EP, does not invent any new wheels, slice any new bread or break any as-yet-unbroken ground. Now that the hype's died down a little, we should seriously ask ourselves: Was this band worth all the hullabaloo? Or was Seattle a little too taken in by what was essentially a brilliant marketing strategy, cooked up by a band attempting to jump-start a career in a town saturated with talented, but essentially straightforward indie rock outfits like itself? Wherever the band ends up a year from now, one thing's for sure: Benjamin Verdoes is a marketing genius. All ages.
Sun., Dec. 7, 7 p.m., 2008