A slight sense of amazement can set in upon hearing The Ferocious Few for the first time. Surely, one thinks, there has to be more to the band than just (usually) two guys tearing it up with little more than a guitar and a drum set. Sure, the sound on their first album, Juices, is stripped-down-and-muddled, Southern-inspired rock. It’s somewhat familiar, but all the more interesting, given the intensity of the lyrics and delivery, and the band’s small size.
I can recall their gig with BAMM.TV at SXSW 2010 very clearly. I was tending to some minor technical crisis on the other side of our space in the Austin Convention Center, but wanted to meet the band. When I walked over to hear the performance of what is probably their most well-known song, Cryin’ Shame, I kept wondering to myself if their bassist was off ill or something. But little did I know. Have a listen:
What makes it all work is the fact that vocalist Francisco Fernandez’s pitch and tone remains consistently right on the mark, sustaining the magnitude of their songs. The power of the lyrics, which tend to be steeped in a tea (cocktail?) of heartbreak, despair and adrenaline, resonate loudly, creating the framework for the general sense of aural distortion that defines their sound. Sounding something like a fusion of Widespread Panic’s John Bell, mid-career Dylan and a healthy dash of Gregg Allman, Fernandez has long since stripped down his original four-piece band to the strong two-piece format, and ran with it. The Ferocious Few literally took to the streets of San Francisco with drummer Daniel Aguilar. Playing on the streets, in the park, at festivals—basically any place a busking station could be set up with a cheap portable amp and a willing crowd of passers-by—the band has become known in the Bay Area for their pop-up outdoor gigs and guerilla-like, hit-and-run spirit. This shines through clearly in their brilliant new video for Loc’d Out, also off the Juices album.
The Ferocious Few is now playing with drummer Melvin Ocassio, but none of the duo’s rampant energy seems to have escaped. As much as we want to keep hearing them kickin’ it on the corner of 16th and Mission, or outside on a warm sunny day someplace near Sixth Street in Austin, I think it’d be best to check ‘em out now, before they find that opening-band gig for the next big thing, and then become the next big thing themselves.
RSVP now to see The Ferocious Few live in Austin, as BAMM.TV Presents Hollerado’s Nacho House @ SXSW 2011. The fun begins at The Beauty Bar on Thursday, March 17th. It’s free, with an open bar sponsored by our friends at BitTorrent. But if you can’t make it to Austin, worry not, just watch our live stream instead!