Who: Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
Where: Jules Maes Saloon, Georgetown, WA
When: Friday, June 6
Tad Doyle inspires exaggerations. Over the course of a four-song set by his new band, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, I uttered the following:
1) “He’s, like, a great, American hero.”
2) “He’s, like, a folk legend, or something.”
Even his name lends itself to exaggeration: TAD. It’s nearly impossible for me to type his name in anything other than ALL CAPS. TAD! In reality, Tad Doyle is about the kindest, most gentle soul I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. He’s a big guy, for sure. That’s why, when paired with music that's as heavy as a steamroller, he becomes a larger-than-life character.
This new band, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, is, like-all-things-TAD, heavy! There are the crunching, sledgehammer chords he’s synonymous with, the thick-as-cement vocals, and the titanic presence of a man who does not have to move much to command attention. They played four songs. To me, they sounded like a less-stoned, more centered Kyuss. There were space-y instrumental passages that ebbed and flowed, most of which built up to insurmountable sheets of pound-you-in-the-chest metal! Along with his bassist-girlfriend Peg (pictured below) and a drummer who gave himself a workout pounding the skins to match Tad’s massive sound, they were surprisingly tight, the kind of band that would have no trouble filling a bigger room (the Showbox, say) with sound. It’s awesome enough just seeing TAD Doyle on stage in Seattle again, but this is no nostalgia act. He is pure heart and soul, a big, shy man hiding under a baseball cap that says “COURAGE” (no, really, it said “COURAGE” in ALL CAPS). He screams into the microphone, makes his guitar rumble like a piece of heavy equipment, and once the smoke clears and noise settles, he says quietly to the crowd: “We’re really grateful to be here with you tonight. Some of us could be dead. But we’re not.”