I don't know how Deadweight does it.
You see them on stage and they're obviously too young to remember the 70s except for dad and uncles' record collections and repeated viewings of That 70s Show and Dazed and Confused. But this band proves that it's more than a lightweight homage to an earlier time.
Deadweight Seth Copeland, vocals/keyboards; Bentley Smith, guitar; Ryan McGowan, guitar/backing vocals; Brandon Gibson, bass; and Dustin Ray, drums leaped into the forefront of the local music scene with a blistering performance at The Railhead followed by their top prize winning performance Aug. 18 during the "Li'l Bit Rock & Roll" portion of the battle of the bands at the Great Plains Coliseum. Despite some audio difficulties and a broken kick pedal on the drums or maybe because of their perseverance through it the band earned high praise from judges, competitors and fans alike that night.
"We made it work," Ray said, "somehow."
Alternating between strong originals and vibrant covers, Deadweight's live show is full of energy. They do great covers of Led Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult and Clutch and own each performance as if they were the band being covered. Impressive.
Deadweight has been around, in one form or another, for about seven years, Ray said.
"More recently, though, we got a real line up together and started writing actual songs," Ray said. "Our first show was in May and we've been going strong since then."
Ray leaked a couple of fresh tracks off the band's upcoming The Red Sun God EP and after the first listen I was reaching for the album cover to open the fold and ... oh, wait a minute. The tracks are on mp3 format. These guys born in the digital age are making music aching to be heard on vinyl. "Lady" is a big time stadium rocker that supplanted the Styx in my mind. "Gannymeade" with its nonsensical title is tight and rocks in a way. Part of me calls it Led Company and the other part knows its original and new.
"You'll be able to buy it on Bandcamp or from us on Facebook or live," Ray said. "It should be kind of a big deal."
The EP will be released due to be released during the band's performance at PushFest Oct. 12-14 in Pushmataha. The artist and fan-friendly festival will also be kind of a big deal, Ray said, with a variety of music from country, to ska, to funk, to rock to bluegrass and beyond. There will be two stages located in a field near the Kiamichi Mountains. More info available at pushfest.com.
You can check Deadweight out sooner when they hit the stage with Oberon and Wan Tu tonight at the Railhead Saloon.